Research Progress in Conversion of CO2 to Valuable Fuels

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molecules Review Research Progress in Conversion of CO2 to Valuable Fuels Luyi Xu, Yang Xiu, Fangyuan Liu, Yuwei Liang and Shengjie Wang * Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology, China University of Petroleum, Qingdao 266580, China; xuluyi1120@163.com (L.X.); xiuyangswhg@163.com (Y.X.); 15069873749@163.com (F.L.); 17854119142@163.com (Y.L.) * Correspondence: sjwang@upc.edu.cn; Tel.: +86-(0)-532-86983455; Fax: +86-(0)-532-86983455 Academic Editors: M. Graça P. M. S. Neves, M. Amparo F. Faustino and Nuno M. M. Moura Received: 28 June 2020; Accepted: 5 August 2020; Published: 11 August 2020 􏰁􏰂􏰃 􏰅􏰆􏰇 􏰈􏰉􏰊􏰋􏰌􏰂􏰍 Abstract: Rapid growth in the world’s economy depends on a significant increase in energy consumption. As is known, most of the present energy supply comes from coal, oil, and natural gas. The overreliance on fossil energy brings serious environmental problems in addition to the scarcity of energy. One of the most concerning environmental problems is the large contribution to global warming because of the massive discharge of CO2 in the burning of fossil fuels. Therefore, many efforts have been made to resolve such issues. Among them, the preparation of valuable fuels or chemicals from greenhouse gas (CO2) has attracted great attention because it has made a promising step toward simultaneously resolving the environment and energy problems. This article reviews the current progress in CO2 conversion via different strategies, including thermal catalysis, electrocatalysis, photocatalysis, and photoelectrocatalysis. Inspired by natural photosynthesis, light-capturing agents including macrocycles with conjugated structures similar to chlorophyll have attracted increasing attention. Using such macrocycles as photosensitizers, photocatalysis, photoelectrocatalysis, or coupling with enzymatic reactions were conducted to fulfill the conversion of CO2 with high efficiency and specificity. Recent progress in enzyme coupled to photocatalysis and enzyme coupled to photoelectrocatalysis were specially reviewed in this review. Additionally, the characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of different conversion methods were also presented. We wish to provide certain constructive ideas for new investigators and deep insights into the research of CO2 conversion. Keywords: CO2 conversion; electrocatalysis; photocatalysis; photoelectrocatalysis; biocatalysis; macrocycles 1. Introduction Overreliance on fossil fuels have led to the discharge of more and more carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere accompanied with the rapid development of modern industry. This has resulted in serious environmental problems, including global warming and other related problems, such as rising sea levels, ocean acidification, ozone layer depletion, and extreme weather patterns [1]. Additionally, the excessive consumption of fossil fuels and deforestation have interrupted the carbon cycle on the earth and accelerated the environmental deterioration and resource depletion [2,3]. In order to mitigate the issue of global warming, most countries have signed the Paris Agreement, which aims to abate the net atmospheric CO2 levels by 2050. Therefore, efficient measures have to be made to reduce atmospheric CO2 levels, such as reducing the direct emission of CO2 by developing clean and sustainable energy resources to replace traditional fossil fuels, capturing and storing CO2, and converting the anthropogenic CO2 into useful chemicals or fuels by reducing it. Among them, the efficient conversion of CO2 has attracted great consideration because of the fact that it is the most abundant C1 compound and is the major greenhouse gas [4–7]. The conversion of CO2 to value-added Molecules 2020, 25, 3653; doi:10.3390/molecules25163653 www.mdpi.com/journal/molecules

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