Elimination of Carbon Dioxide through Silver-Diamond Catalyzed Photoreduction

Bennett Mortensen with Dr. Robert Hamers

UW Chemistry Department

Carbon dioxide is the single greatest contributor to global warming and reducing its prevalence in the atmosphere is critical to the human race. Photoreduction of carbon dioxide has been an option for many years. Using a catalyst, carbon dioxide breaks down after having electrons transfer onto it. The carbon dioxide then assembles in different ways. The reaction commonly uses titanium dioxide in contact with a transition metal as a catalyst; however, silver-diamond catalysts are chemically superior to take part in photoreduction. Silver-diamond particles are more photoreactive and can more easily transfer electrons to reduce the sample. For these reasons, silver-diamond catalysts were tested to observe the yields of photoreduction. Using a quartz container, UV light was shined on a solution of silver-diamond particles and carbon dioxide allowing the photoreduction to occur. Silver-diamond photoreduction chemically reduced carbon dioxide into two distinct products: methanol and carbon monoxide. Additional research is needed to directly compare the efficiencies of titanium dioxide and silver-diamond as photocatalysts.