Photocatalytic conversion of biomass into valuable products: a meaningful approach?
by Granone, L. I.; Sieland, F.; Zheng, N.; Dillert, R.; Bahnemann, D. W.
The innovative combination of photocatalysis and biomass utilization represents a new and promising approach to achieve a higher grade of sustainability in chemical processes. A growing number of publications deal with topics like biomass conversion to solar fuels and the selective production of fine chemicals from waste. Despite the recalcitrant structure of several biological waste streams, which hampers the technical processing, huge progress has been achieved by the use of photocatalytic systems. This review analyzes recent examples of this promising field and investigates their potential for large-scale applications. Overall, the major critic is the lack of mechanistic investigations hampering the development of photocatalytic systems for biomass conversion. Therefore, this review represents a guideline, emphasizing the strategy and mechanistic considerations for the technical application of sustainable photocatalytic and photochemical reactions.