Advanced Materials and Technologies toward Carbon Neutrality

Chao LU*, Xiaohong ZHANG*, Xi CHEN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


ConspectusGlobal climate change caused by the excessive emission of greenhouse gases has become one of the greatest threats to human survival in the 21st century. Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas on earth and has brought about serious environmental problems nowadays. On the basis of the current situation, it is urgent to reach the peak of carbon dioxide emission and then achieve carbon neutrality via policy support and engineering strategies within advanced materials and technologies. Carbon neutrality requires an appropriate balance between the emission and reduction of carbon dioxide. The emission of carbon dioxide mainly comes from modern industries, and the reduction requires several steps, including capture, conversion, and application. On one hand, it can reduce carbon dioxide emission by promoting the transformation of industrial structure. On the other hand, it is necessary to remove high-level carbon dioxide existing in the atmosphere by physical and chemical methods such as adsorption capture and catalytic conversion.This Account showcases our recent progress on carbon neutrality for the reduction of carbon dioxide through capture and conversion methods within advanced materials and technologies. We mainly focus on the right side of the carbon scale and have made some advances such as moisture-swing chemisorption for carbon dioxide capture, the reduction of oxygen-containing carbon dioxide, and the photothermal catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide. Different from previous studies, our work is about developing materials and techniques for practical applications. First, we have made attempts to develop cheap sorbents with high stability and a high adsorption capacity. Second, we have reported a moisture-swing technique with the capability of directly capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by relying on the humidity variation with low energy consumption. This technique is promising for realizing real-time carbon dioxide capture and utilization, which avoids high-cost storage and transport processes. Third, our work on carbon dioxide utilization focuses on efficient conversion under practical conditions. For instance, we have developed perovskite catalysts for converting carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide in an oxygen-containing environment. Furthermore, core-shell catalysts have been reported for carbon dioxide conversion with a high selectivity of 83% driven by solar energy. In addition, practical applications of captured carbon dioxide have been explored with respect to carbon dioxide-assisted graphene exfoliation, keeping fruit fresh, and crop growth promotion with carbon dioxide gas fertilizer. A future perspective on the challenges and opportunities for carbon neutrality has been provided on the basis of our experimental studies and theoretical predictions. It is expected that this Account will promote tremendous effort in the development of advanced materials and engineering technologies toward the realization of carbon neutrality by the middle of this century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)913–921
Number of pages9
JournalAccounts of Materials Research
Issue number9
Early online date22 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by startup funding (NH10900522) from Soochow University, the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20220505), and the Center for Advanced Materials for Energy and Environment at Columbia University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Accounts of Materials Research. Co-published by ShanghaiTech University and American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.


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