Organic reactions for the electrochemical and photochemical production of chemical fuels from CO2 – The reduction chemistry of carboxylic acids and derivatives as bent CO2 surrogates
•CO2 can react with organic molecules to yield carboxylates.•The carboxylates can act as CO2-capturing surrogates.•These species can get reduced by both chemical and electrochemical means.•We point out reactions such as the Cross Canizzaro and the Eschweiler-Clarke as non-faradaic chemical reactions in electrochemical experiments.
The present review covers organic transformations involved in the reduction of CO2 to chemical fuels. In particular, we focus on reactions of CO2 with organic molecules to yield carboxylic acid derivatives as a first step in CO2 reduction reaction sequences. These biomimetic initial steps create opportunities for tandem electrochemical/chemical reductions. We draw parallels between long-standing knowledge of CO2 reactivity from organic chemistry, organocatalysis, surface science and electrocatalysis. We point out some possible non-faradaic chemical reactions that may contribute to product distributions in the production of solar fuels from CO2. These reactions may be accelerated by thermal effects such as resistive heating and illumination.
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Journal: Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology - Volume 152, Part A, November 2015, Pages 26–42