The conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) into fuels and value-added products is one of the most significant inventions to address the global warming and energy needs. Photoelectrochemical (PEC) CO2 conversion can be considered as an artificial photosynthesis technique that produces formate, formaldehyde, formic acid, methane, methanol, ethanol, etc. Recent advances in electrode materials, mechanisms, kinetics, thermodynamics, and reactor designs of PEC CO2 conversion have been comprehensively reviewed in this article. The adsorption and activation of CO2/intermediates at the electrode surface are the key steps for improving the kinetics of CO2 conversion. PEC efficiency could be upgraded through the utilization of 2D/3D materials, plasmonic metals, carbon-based catalysts, porous nanostructures, metal-organic frameworks, molecular catalysts, and biological molecules. The defect engineered (by cation/anion vacancy, crystal distortion, pits, and creation of oxygen vacancies) 2D/3D materials, Z-scheme heterojunctions, bioelectrodes, and tandem photovoltaic-PEC reactors are suitable options to enhance the efficiency at low external bias.
ASJC Scopus subject areas