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In a recent study from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, scientists used a photocatalyst largely made of copper to transform carbon dioxide (CO2) to methanol.
The researchers used a photocatalyst made of cuprous oxide (Cu2O), a semiconductor that when exposed to light can produce electrons that can react with, or reduce, many compounds. After excitation, the electrons leave a positive hole in the catalyst’s lower-energy valence band that, in turn, can oxidize water. “This photocatalyst is particularly exciting because it has one of the most negative conduction bands that we’ve used, which means that the electrons have more potential energy available to do reactions,”…READ MORE