Carbon dioxide is a by-product of energy production, but must it always be viewed as a waste product? This gas could be a useful renewable resource and an environmentally friendly chemical reagent.
If we really could use it, it would not just reduce the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but also our dependence on petrochemicals, which will eventually start to run out. In the journal Angewandte Chemie French scientists working with Thibault Cantat at the Institut Rayonnement Matière de Saclay in Gif-sur-Yvette have now introduced a new approach for the conversion of carbon dioxide into both useable building blocks for chemical synthesis and new fuels.
“Carbon dioxide is a nontoxic, abundant C1 building block,” says Cantat. “Only a handful of processes using this starting material have been developed, because carbon dioxide is a very stable molecule that can not easily be made to react.” To date, there have been two different approaches for the use of carbon dioxide. According to Cantat, “In the ‘vertical’ approach, the carbon dioxide is reduced, which means that the oxidation state of the carbon atom is reduced by the formal replacement of oxygen with hydrogen. This results in molecules such as methanol or formic acid, which can be converted into fuels.” These products have a higher energy content than carbon dioxide, but only a handful of chemicals can be produced this way.
“In the ‘horizontal’ approach, the carbon atom is functionalized, which means that it forms new bonds to oxygen, nitrogen, or other carbon atoms”, continues Cantat. “The oxidation state stays the same, the energy content is not increased.” This does not produce fuels, but chemicals that are useful building blocks for chemical syntheses, such as urea.
The French team thus tried a compromise approach, a combination of both methods to make a “diagonal” approach. By their method, the carbon dioxide is both reduced and functionalized in one step. This allows the synthesis of a much greater number of chemicals, directly from CO2.
This reaction requires three things: a reducing agent (e.g. a silane), an organic molecule to be attached to the carbon atom of the carbon dioxide (e.g. an amine), and a special catalyst that catalyzes both the reduction and the functionalization. The successful catalyst is a special organic base consisting of a nitrogen-containing ring system. “Variation of the reaction partners should allow us to make a whole series of chemical compounds that are normally obtained from petrochemical feedstocks,” says Cantat, “for example, formamide derivatives, which are important intermediates for both chemical and pharmaceutical industries.”
Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201105516
Thibault Cantat | Angewandte Chemie
Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View
22.06.2018 | University of Sussex
New cellular pathway helps explain how inflammation leads to artery disease
22.06.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.06.2018 | Life Sciences