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New photocatalysts based on halogenated hybrid perovskites to obtain solar fuels using CO2

17th national competition for scientific and technical research

Renewable energy: materials and processes

Senior Researcher : Pedro Atienzar Corvillo

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Research Centre or Institution : Instituto de Tecnología Química. CSIC-Universidad Politécnica de Valencia.


The purpose of this project is the preparation of new micro mesoporous photocatalysts based on the structure of halogenated hybrid perovskite and use them for the photoreduction of CO2 to obtain fuels. Considering the high demand and need for energy, together with the high costs of oil and its derivates, it is necessary to search for new sources of energy that are also environmentally friendly and if possible are inexhaustible. And also, if possible, for them to be accessible for any country, irrespective of its degree of development.

The idea of obtaining fuels from the sun is based on generating chemical compounds that can subsequently be transformed by freeing their energy. It can therefore be said that reducing CO2 in fuels is valuable, given that it not only contributes to the carbon cycle but also may minimise the effects of climate change

The photoreduction reaction of CO2 normally takes place in two stages: one of oxidisation, where water oxidises to O2, and another reduction phase in which CO2 is reduced to methane and other reactions products such as methanol and hydrogen.

Recently, a new family of materials has been found to be of great interest. These are semiconducting materials with a perovskite structure. In the field of solar cells this type of material achieved efficiencies of around 20% in2014. The outstanding properties of these materials include their high optical density, absorption in the region of sunlight, the efficient generation of carriers, suitable energy levels and long diffusion distances. This indicates that these materials have great potential in the field of heterogeneous photocatalysts used for the photoreduction of CO2.

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