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Title: Frontiers, Opportunities, and Challenges in Biochemical and Chemical Catalysis of CO2

Our central premise is that catalytic scientists can learn by studying how these important metabolic processes occur in nature. Complementarily, biochemists can learn by studying how catalytic scientists view these same chemical transformations promoted by synthetic catalysts. From these studies, hypotheses can be developed and tested through manipulation of enzyme structure and by synthesizing simple molecular catalysts to incorporate different structural features of the enzymes. It is hoped that these studies will lead to new and useful concepts in catalyst design for fuel production and utilization. This paper describes the results of a workshop held to explore these concepts in regard to the development of new and more efficient catalytic processes for the conversion of CO2 to a variety of carbon-based fuels. The organization of this overview/review is as follows: 1) The first section briefly explores how interactions between the catalysis and biological communities have been fruitful in developing new catalysts for the reduction of protons to hydrogen, the simplest fuel generation reaction. 2) The second section assesses the state of the art in both biological and chemical reduction of CO2 by two electrons to form either carbon monoxide (CO) or formate (HCOO-). It also attempts to identify common principlesmore » between biological and synthetic catalysts and productive areas for future research. 3) The third section explores both biological and chemical processes that result in the reduction of CO2 beyond the level of CO and formate, again seeking to identify common principles and productive areas of future research. 4) The fourth section explores the formation of carbon-carbon bonds in biological and chemical systems in the same vein as the other sections. 5) A fifth section addresses the role of non-redox reactions of CO2 in biological systems and their role in carbon metabolism, with a parallel discussion of chemical systems. 6) In section 6, the topics of electrode modification, photochemical systems, and tandem catalysis are briefly discussed. These areas may be important for developing practical systems for CO2 reduction, and they share the common theme of coupling chemical reactions. 7) Section 7 describes some of the crosscutting activities that are critical for advancing the science underpinning catalyst development. 8) The last section attempts to summarize common issues in biological and chemical catalysis and to identify challenges that must be addressed to achieve practical catalysts that are suitable for the reduction of CO2 to fuels.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
46190; KC0302010
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Chemical Reviews, 113(8):6621−6658
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory