Structured clay minerals-based nanomaterials for sustainable photo/thermal carbon dioxide conversion to cleaner fuels: A critical review

Wei Keen Fan, Muhammad Tahir

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


In efforts to achieve a sustainable development goal, the utilization of CO2 to generate renewable fuels is promising, as it is a sustainable technology that provides affordable and clean energy. To realize the production of renewable green fuels, a proficient and low-cost technology is required. Using photo/thermal catalytic process, the goal of sustainable CO2 hydrogenation can be achieved. There have been several types of catalysts under exploration, however, they are expensive with limited availability. In the current development, green materials such as mineral clays are emerging as cocatalyst/supports for CO2 hydrogenation. Clays are bestowed with various beneficial properties such as a large surface area, high porosity, abundant basic sites, excellent thermal stability and chemical corrosion resistance. Clays are promising materials that can drastically reduce the cost in catalyst preparation, partially fulfil the energy demand and reduce greenhouse gas emission. This review aims to focus on the various types of clays and their applications in the field of photo/thermal CO2 hydrogenation to renewable fuels. Firstly, the classifications of clays are provided, whereby they can be differentiated based on their silicate layers, namely 1:1 and 2:1 type clay and their properties are thoroughly discussed to provide advantages and applications. The applications of various clays such as kaolinite, halloysite, montmorillonite, attapulgite, saponite and volkonskoite for CO2 hydrogenation reactions are systematically discoursed. In addition, various approaches to improve the capability of raw clays as catalyst support are critically discussed, which include thermal treatment, exfoliation, acid-leaching and pillaring approaches. A critical discussion regarding the engineering aspects to further enhance clay-based catalyst for CO2 hydrogenation are further disclosed. In short, clays are freely available materials that can be found in abundance. However, there are many more different types of natural green clays that have not been studied and explored in various energy applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number157206
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2022


  • Catalysis/photocatalysis
  • Clay-based catalysts
  • CO hydrogenation
  • Mineral layered clays
  • Renewable fuels
  • Sustainable technologies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Structured clay minerals-based nanomaterials for sustainable photo/thermal carbon dioxide conversion to cleaner fuels: A critical review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this