Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Copper catalyst recycles carbon dioxide

13.10.2008
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced whenever fossil fuels are burned. RIKEN chemists have developed a catalyst that should allow carbon dioxide to be used as a versatile synthetic chemical.

Versatile reaction could help greenhouse gas become a more useful synthetic chemical

RIKEN chemists have developed a catalyst that should allow carbon dioxide to be used as a versatile synthetic chemical.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced whenever fossil fuels are burned, and it is a powerful greenhouse gas that traps heat in our atmosphere, contributing to global warming. As such, turning the gas into a chemical feedstock, rather than allowing it to escape into the atmosphere, is an extremely appealing idea.

In fact, industry has long used carbon dioxide as a chemical building block—in the manufacture of the painkiller aspirin, for example—but its use is limited by the difficulty of breaking open its strong carbon-oxygen double bonds.

Carbon compounds activated by lithium or magnesium are often needed to attack and incorporate carbon dioxide successfully, but these reagents are extremely reactive and quite hazardous on a large scale.

Chemists have recently developed milder, boron-based alternatives, which require a rhodium catalyst to speed up the reaction. Unfortunately, this catalyst tends to break down particularly sensitive chemical groups in the product.

Zhaomin Hou, of RIKEN's Advanced Science Institute, Wako, along with colleagues Takeshi Ohishi and Masayoshi Nishiura, has now developed a copper catalyst that helps the boron compounds to react with carbon dioxide without destroying sensitive chemical groups.

This makes the reaction particularly useful for building complex molecules containing several different types of chemical group, something that would not be possible with the harsh lithium reagents. “We have tried many different metal compounds, among which the copper catalyst was the best,” says Hou.

The team was also able to study exactly how the catalyst works, by isolating key molecules at various intermediate stages of the reaction. They found that the active copper catalyst first displaces the boron group from the starting molecule, forming a new copper–carbon bond. Carbon dioxide then inserts itself into this bond before the copper catalyst is finally removed, leaving behind a carboxylic acid (-CO2H) group1.

Various forms of the boron compounds, known as boronic esters, are commercially available, says Hou. “And they can also be easily prepared in the lab.”

Hou adds that their method is also amenable to large-scale, commercial synthesis. “Since CO2 is a renewable carbon resource, exploration of new reactions and catalysts for its efficient use is of great importance,” he says. “One of our goals is to find a catalyst that can transform CO2 in exhaust gasses of automobile vehicles or chemical plants into useful materials.”

1. Ohishi, T., Nishiura, M. & Hou, Z. Carboxylation of organoboronic esters catalyzed by N-heterocyclic carbene copper(I) complexes. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 47, 5792–5795 (2008)

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the RIKEN Organometallic Chemistry Laboratory

Saeko Okada | ResearchSEA
Further information:
http://www.rikenresearch.riken.jp/research/560/
http://www.researchsea.com

Further reports about: Boron CO2 Carbon Copper catalyst Hou carbon dioxide compounds copper dioxide greenhouse gas

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

nachricht Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals
23.05.2018 | Brown University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

NIST puts the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>