Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Catherine E. McCusker

Committee Members

Dane W. Scott, Greg Bishop


Much of the energy used in the United States and around the globe is obtained from petroleum, natural gas, and coal. Photocatalytic CO2 reduction can be used to transform CO2 to useful fuels and making fossil fuels more renewable. Input of energy is required, and the sun can provide the required energy for this transformation. Photosensitizer, catalyst, and electron donor are required for photocatalytic CO2 reduction.

Due to lack of earth-abundant sensitizers, zinc dipyrrin complexes were synthesized by previous group members and have been used as photosensitizers in this research. The ground and excited state electrochemical properties of two zinc dipyrrin complexes were determined in polar and nonpolar solvents and the measured potentials were used to match the zinc sensitizers with an energetically appropriate iron porphyrin catalyst and a benzylthiol sacrificial electron donor. Lastly, pure CO2 gas was used as the source of carbon for the reduction of CO2 by photocatalysis with the zinc photosensitizers, iron catalyst and sacrificial electron donor. The products formed in headspace were analyzed by GC

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Chemistry Commons