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a systemic approach to energy

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Toward Visible Light Response: Overall Water Splitting Using Heterogeneous Photocatalysts

Kazuhiro Takanabe1 / 2

1Division of Chemical and Life Sciences and Engineering, KAUST Catalysis Center (KCC), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), 4700 KAUST, Thuwal, 23955-6900 Saudi Arabia

2Department of Chemical System Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan

Citation Information: Green. Volume 1, Issue 4, Pages 313–322, ISSN (Online) 1869-8778, ISSN (Print) 1869-876X, DOI: 10.1515/GREEN.2011.030, January 2011

Publication History



Extensive energy conversion of solar energy can only be achieved by large-scale collection of solar flux. The technology that satisfies this requirement must be as simple as possible to reduce capital cost. Overall water splitting by powder-form photocatalysts directly produces a mixture of H2 and O2 (chemical energy) in a single reactor, which does not require any complicated parabolic mirrors and electronic devices. Because of its simplicity and low capital cost, it has tremendous potential to become the major technology of solar energy conversion. Development of highly efficient photocatalysts is desired. This review addresses why visible light responsive photocatalysts are essential to be developed. The state of the art for the photocatalysts for overall water splitting is briefly described. Moreover, various fundamental aspects for developing efficient photocatalysts, such as particle size of photocatalysts, cocatalysts, and reaction kinetics are discussed.

Keywords.: Photocatalyst; overall water splitting; solar energy conversion; visible light; semiconductor

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