Most highly efficient CO2 reduction photocatalysts that have been developed so far have been made of precious metals such as ruthenium and rhenium (rare metals). The catalyst developed by Profs ISHITANI, MAEDA and ROBERT (Paris) is based on the semiconductor carbon nitride in combination with an iron complex. It efficiently reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) to carbon monoxide (CO) in the presence of visible light. Carbon nitride absorbs visible light and drives the movement of electrons from the reducing agent to the iron complex as a catalyst. Using these electrons, the iron complex reduces CO2 to CO. Turnover number in CO generation, external quantum yield, and CO2 reduction selectivity reached 155, 4.2% and 99%, respectively.

JST news release, June 12, 2018