ISSN 0253-2778

CN 34-1054/N

Open AccessOpen Access JUSTC Review Article

Photocatalytic methane conversion over metal oxides: Fundamentals, achievements, and challenges

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https://doi.org/10.3969/j.issn.0253-2778.2020.11.001
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  • Author Bio:

    Jiang Wenbin is currently a graduate student under the tutelage of Prof. Xiong Yujie at University of Science and Technology of China. His research interests focus on controlled synthesis of metal-oxide hybrid nanostructures for catalytic applications and mechanistic investigations. E-mail: jiangwb@mail.ustc.edu.cn

    Low Jingxiang obtained his Ph.D. degree from Wuhan University of Technology in 2018, and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at University of Science and Technology of China. His research interests focus on photocatalyst design for carbon dioxide reduction, nitrogen fixation and methane conversion.

    Qiu Chang is currently a senior student majoring in materials chemistry at University of Science and Technology of China. Her current research interest is photocatalysis for methane conversion.

  • Corresponding author: Long Ran (corresponding author) is an associate professor at University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). She received her B.S. degree in Chemistry in 2009 and Ph.D. degree in Inorganic Chemistry under the tutelage of Prof. Xiong Yujie in 2014, both from USTC. Her research interests focus on controlled synthesis and catalytic applications of metal nanocrystals. So far, she has published more than 70 SCI papers in international high-level academic journals including J. Am. Chem. Soc., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., Adv. Mater., Chem. Soc. Rev., Nano Energy and Small. E-mail: longran@ustc.edu.cn; Xiong Yujie (corresponding author) is the Cheung Kong Chair Professor of Chemistry at University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). He received his B.S. degree in Chemical Physics in 2000 and Ph.D. degree in Inorganic Chemistry in 2004, both from USTC. From 2004 to 2009, he worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Washington in Seattle and as a Research Associate at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, respectively. He was the Principal Scientist of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NSF-NNIN) site at Washington University in St. Louis in 2009~2011, and joined the USTC faculty as a Professor of Chemistry in 2011. His research centers on solar-driven artificial carbon cycle. He has published more than 200 scientific papers with over 25000 total citations (H-index 77), and is among the Highly Cited Researchers by Clarivate Analytics and the Most Cited Chinese Researchers by Elsevier. E-mail: yjxiong@ustc.edu.cn
  • Received Date: 23 October 2020
  • Rev Recd Date: 11 November 2020
  • Publish Date: 30 November 2020
  • With the rapid development of combustible ice and shale gas mining technology, the reserve of methane (CH4) has been growing abundant. Therefore, there is a paradigm shift, where CH4 is not seen only as a hydrocarbon fuel, but also as carbon feedstocks for synthesizing various value-added chemicals. However, the conventional CH4 conversion technology, especially steam reforming of methane, normally requires extensive energy input due to the extremely stable bonding of CH4. To this end, photocatalysis, which can break the thermodynamic barrier of CH4 conversion, has been known as a promising candidate for reaching large-scale CH4 conversion under ambient condition. In the photocatalytic CH4 conversion researches, metal oxides have been extensively investigated mainly due to their high oxidation capability. In this review, a discussion is first given on the fundamentals of CH4 conversion and the advantages of metal oxides in such a reaction. Then the development of metal oxides-based photocatalysts in various CH4 conversion reactions is reviewed, including total oxidation of methane (TOM), partial oxidation of methane (POM), dry-reforming of methane (DRM), non-oxidative coupling of methane (NOCM), lattice oxygen mediated oxidative coupling of methane (LOCM) and so on. Finally, the opportunities of metal oxides-based photocatalytic CH4 conversion along with the challenges are summarized.
    With the rapid development of combustible ice and shale gas mining technology, the reserve of methane (CH4) has been growing abundant. Therefore, there is a paradigm shift, where CH4 is not seen only as a hydrocarbon fuel, but also as carbon feedstocks for synthesizing various value-added chemicals. However, the conventional CH4 conversion technology, especially steam reforming of methane, normally requires extensive energy input due to the extremely stable bonding of CH4. To this end, photocatalysis, which can break the thermodynamic barrier of CH4 conversion, has been known as a promising candidate for reaching large-scale CH4 conversion under ambient condition. In the photocatalytic CH4 conversion researches, metal oxides have been extensively investigated mainly due to their high oxidation capability. In this review, a discussion is first given on the fundamentals of CH4 conversion and the advantages of metal oxides in such a reaction. Then the development of metal oxides-based photocatalysts in various CH4 conversion reactions is reviewed, including total oxidation of methane (TOM), partial oxidation of methane (POM), dry-reforming of methane (DRM), non-oxidative coupling of methane (NOCM), lattice oxygen mediated oxidative coupling of methane (LOCM) and so on. Finally, the opportunities of metal oxides-based photocatalytic CH4 conversion along with the challenges are summarized.
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