Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2022

Thesis Advisor(s)

Alexander Agrios

Honors Major

Environmental Engineering


Environmental Engineering


The pressing issue of global climate change has been found to be attributed to the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, especially carbon dioxide. One mitigation idea to close the carbon loop is to utilize redox reactions and photocatalysis to reduce carbon dioxide to a useable fuel source, like methane or methanol. This thesis will study the possibility of using calcium ferrite as the semiconductor to perform photocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide with the assistance of a microbial fuel cell, which will help minimize the energy required from sunlight photons. A calcium ferrite thin film was produced through the sol-gel synthesis method. This production method must be completed in a nitrogen glove box, so a compact, low-cost dip-coating machine was built with a linear actuator and Arduino microcontroller. Once the cell was produced, x-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy were used to characterize the crystalline structure of the film. Additionally, a potentiostat was used to test the cell’s potential, which determines its ability to reduce carbon dioxide and other test molecules. In conclusion of this study, the benefits and limitations of this synthesis method will be discussed, along with the feasibility of using calcium ferrite as the semiconductor for microbially assisted photocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide.