Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Matamala-Troncoso, F.; Isaacs, M.; Sáez-Navarrete, C. Photocatalyzed Production of Urea as a Hydrogen–Storage Material by TiO2–Based Materials. Photochem 2022, 2(3), 539-562. https://doi.org/10.3390/photochem2030038 (2022)

Photocatalyzed Production of Urea as a Hydrogen–Storage Material by TiO2–Based Materials

Revista : Photochem
Volumen : 2
Número : 3
Páginas : 539-562
Tipo de publicación : Revistas Ir a publicación


This review analyzes the photocatalyzed urea syntheses by TiO2–based materials. The most outstanding works in synthesizing urea from the simultaneous photocatalyzed reduction of carbon dioxide and nitrogen compounds are reviewed and discussed. Urea has been widely used in the agricultural industry as a fertilizer. It represents more than 50% of the nitrogen fertilizer market, and its global demand has increased more than 100 times in the last decades. In energy terms, urea has been considered a hydrogen–storage (6.71 wt.%) and ammonia–storage (56.7 wt.%) compound, giving it fuel potential. Urea properties meet the requirements of the US Department of Energy for hydrogen–storage substances, meanly because urea crystalizes, allowing storage and safe transportation. Conventional industrial urea synthesis is energy–intensive (3.2–5.5 GJ ton?1) since it requires high pressures and temperatures, so developing a photocatalyzed synthesis at ambient temperature and pressure is an attractive alternative to conventional synthesis. Due to the lack of reports for directly catalyzed urea synthesis, this review is based on the most prominent works. We provide details of developed experimental set–ups, amounts of products reported, the advantages and difficulties of the synthesis, and the scope of the technological and energetic challenges faced by TiO2–based photocatalyst materials used for urea synthesis. The possibility of scaling photocatalysis technology was evaluated as well. We hope this review invites exploring and developing a technology based on clean and renewable energies for industrial urea production.