Emissions to Energy: Artificial Photosynthesis for converting CO2 to fuels.

Supervisors: Scientia Professor Rose Amal, Dr. Yun Hau Ng, Dr Xunyu Lu


One of the biggest challenges facing mankind is the unrestrained CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere due to the over-reliance on fossil fuels. To help mitigate this problem, the project will develop innovative, stable and efficient bimetallic catalysts that will be used for electrochemical/photo-electrochemical reduction of CO2.

Novelty and Contribution:

The electrochemical and photo-electrochemical reduction of CO2 is a very promising research field in the quest to tackle climate change. The impact of this field is quite significant with a number of university start-ups (Light Energy, Dioxide Materials) as well as multinational conglomerates (DNV, Siemens) working to implement laboratory findings into real world applications. However, most catalysts developed till date suffers from low efficiency and stability issues that will be resolved through the development of innovative bi-metallic catalysts for the electrochemical/photo-electrochemical reduction of CO2.

Expected Outcome:

The project will allow students to work in a team to develop solutions to an elusive real world problem. The research is expected to lead to a publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Significant improvement in catalyst performance may even lead to a start-up company! The project will train students in synthesis, characterization and activity testing techniques, preparing for future career in industry and/or higher degree research.   

Note: possibility to continue project for THESIS A


(1)      Zhao, J.; Wang, X.; Loo, J. S. C. Hybrid catalysts for photoelectrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide : a prospective review on semiconductor / metal complex co-catalyst systems. J. Mater. Chem. A Mater. energy Sustain.2014, 00, 1–6 DOI: 10.1039/C4TA02250E.

(2)      Lu, X.; Leung, D. Y. C.; Wang, H.; Leung, M. K. H.; Xuan, J. Electrochemical Reduction of Carbon Dioxide to Formic Acid. ChemElectroChem2014, 1 (5), 836–849 DOI: 10.1002/celc.201300206.