Carbon photochemistry: towards a solar reverse boudouard refinery

Camilo J. Viasus Pérez, Juan Manuel Restrepo-Florez, Jessica Ye, Nhat Truong Nguyen, Athanasios A. Tountas, Rui Song, Chengliang Mao, Andrew Wang, Abdelaziz Gouda, Samantha Corapi, Shufang Ji, Hamish MacLeod, Jiaze Wu, Alán Aspuru-Guzik, Christos T. Maravelias, Geoffrey A. Ozin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Carbon and carbon dioxide can be concurrently converted using light to carbon monoxide via the reverse-Boudouard reaction. Nevertheless, the reaction's high endothermicity requires the reaction to be conducted at about 900 °C, which presents technical challenges associated with large-scale high-temperature energy-intensive operations. Herein, we demonstrate that the reverse-Boudouard reaction can be made practicable and profitable using sunlight in conjunction with light-emitting diodes, silicon photovoltaics, and lithium-ion batteries under room temperature conditions. The feasibility of this scheme is explored using a comparative technoeconomic analysis (TEA) to establish the viability of the process for converting several forms of carbonaceous waste and greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into a sustainable and value-added C1 feedstock, carbon monoxide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6155-6167
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 27 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Pollution


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