An international collaborative research group including Tokyo Institute of Technology, Universite PARIS DIDEROT and CNRS has discovered that CO2 is selectively reduced to CO when a photocatalyst composed of an organic semiconductor material and an iron complex is exposed to visible light.
They have made clear that it is possible to convert CO2, the major factor of global warming, into a valuable carbon resource using visible light as the energy source, even with a photocatalyst composed of only commonly occurring elements.
In recent years, technologies to reduce CO2 into a resource using metal complexes and semiconductors as photocatalysts are being developed worldwide.
If this technology called artificial photosynthesis can be applied, scientists would be able to convert CO2, which is considered the major factor of global warming and is being treated as a villain, into a valuable carbon resource using sunlight as the energy source.
However, considering the tremendous amount of CO2, there was a need to create new photocatalysts made only with elements widely available on Earth.
Professor Osamu Ishitani, Associate Professor Kazuhiko Maeda, research staff Ryo Kuriki and others of Tokyo Tech, with the support of JST (Japan Science and Technology Agency)'s Strategic Basic Research Programs (CREST Establishment of Molecular Technology towards the Creation of New Functions) for international collaborative research projects, performed collaborative research with the research group of Professor Marc Robert of Universite PARIS DIDEROT and CNRS.