The ideal goal is to realize the biomass valorization into value-added chemicals by mild photocatalysis. Bottom-up strategy is adopted which firstly involves model components such as glucose, xylose, HMF etc. as the substrates to achieve close-to-unity yield of target chemicals. Then cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin are used as the substrates to realize the efficient production of valuable chemicals by photocatalysis. Finally, the natural raw biomass is expected to directly valorized by photocatalysis. The above scenario puts high demand on the rational photocatalyst design, which should fully consider the physical and chemical properties of reactant and products. The in-depth investigations on reaction pathway and mechanism facilitate the oriented design of functional photocatalysts.
Electrocatalysis (EC), photoelectrocatalysis (PEC) and photovoltaic electrocatalysis (PV-EC) are emerging as advanced technologies for biomass valorization to produce value-added chemicals along with fuels generation. The coupling reactions involving selective oxidation of biomass or biomass derivates and water or CO2 reduction into sustainable fuels could be efficiently realized by rationally designing electrode materials, electrolytes and bias potential.
Bio-photo/electro Hybrid Catalysis for Biochemicals
Bioactive enzymes have attracted great attention and been commonly applied for biomass and carbon dioxide valorization owing to their high selectivity and catalytic efficiency under environmentally benign reaction conditions. Same as biocatalysts, photo-/electro-catalysis also happens at mild conditions (i.e., near ambient temperature and pressure). In our research, harness of renewable energy from the photo-/electro-catalytic compartment can be combined with the unique selectivity of biocatalysts to construct a hybrid system, therefore providing a more sustainable and greener approach to obtain specific value-added chemicals from biomass and carbon dioxide, such as Furfuryl alcohol, furfural, HMF, formic acid, to name only a few.
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