Progress on quantum dot photocatalysts for biomass valorization

Quantum dots (QDs) catalyzed biomass valorization into high-value-added chemicals and fuels under solar light is an essential measure to achieve the target of carbon neutrality. This review summarizes the current development of the rational design of QDs photocatalysts for efficient biomass valorization including tuning particle size, structure, surface properties, and ligands.


Biomass with abundant reproducible carbon resource holds great promise as an intriguing substitute for fossil fuels in the manufacture of high-value-added chemicals and fuels. Photocatalytic biomass valorization using inexhaustible solar energy enables to accurately break desired chemical bonds or selectively functionalize particular groups, thus emerging as an extremely creative and low carbon cost strategy for relieving the dilemma of the global energy. Quantum dots (QDs) are an outstandingly dynamic class of semiconductor photocatalysts because of their unique properties, which have achieved significant successes in various photocatalytic applications including biomass valorization. In this review, the current development rational design for QDs photocatalytic biomass valorization effectively is highlighted, focusing on the principles of tuning their particle size, structure, and surface properties, with special emphasis on the effect of the ligands for selectively broken chemical bonds (C─O, C─C) of biomass. Finally, the present issues and possibilities within that exciting field are described.

Author list:

Weijing Cao, Wenjun Zhang, Lin Dong, Zhuang Ma, Jingsan Xu, Xiaoli Gu*, Zupeng Chen*

How to cite:

W. Cao, W. Zhang, L. Dong, Z. Ma, J. Xu, X. Gu, Z. Chen, Exploration 2023, 3, 20220169.