Carbon Dioxide Conversion

Dr. Li’s Research Group

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ying Li, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering



Phone: (414) 229-3716

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Project Description (Solar-Driven Photocatalytic Conversion of Carbon Dioxide and Water to Fuels):

The global climate change is directly related to the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases (e.g., CO2) in the atmosphere, mainly caused by anthropogenic activities such as the burning of fossil fuels. Photocatalytic reduction of CO2 with water to fuels (such as CO, methane, methanol, etc) is very attractive in that it not only controls greenhouse gases, but also provides a sustainable energy source. However, this conversion is an extremely challenging task due to the stable thermodynamic properties of CO2, and it has been much less studied as compared to other solar energy conversion technologies such as solar photovoltaic. The low yield of CO2 conversion reported in the literature calls for more efficient photocatalysts. The objective of this project is to design and fabricate novel titanium dioxide (TiO2) based nanomaterials and to use them to effectively convert CO2 to fuels under simulated sunlight irradiation. Specific research approaches include synthesis and characterize nanomaterials, conducting experiments in a photoreactor system, and correlating catalytic activities with material properties. This project will advance the research in nanotechnology, solar energy technology, and carbon management. It will have significant impact on the exploration of future generation of renewable fuels from sunlight.