Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Carbon dioxide tamed: Making this ubiquitous gas industrially useful

Date:
January 18, 2014
Source:
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Summary:
Using a copper catalyst to unite carbon dioxide with organic molecules under mild conditions could make this ubiquitous gas industrially useful.

Using a copper catalyst to unite carbon dioxide with organic molecules under mild conditions could make this ubiquitous gas industrially useful.

Carbon dioxide has become notorious as a troublesome greenhouse gas produced by burning fossil fuels. Now, this gas could also offer a cheap, abundant and nontoxic source of carbon for the chemical reactions that synthesize products such as plastics and pharmaceuticals.

Only a few industrial processes currently use carbon dioxide as a reagent because it takes a lot of energy to break its strong chemical bonds. For example, to synthesize salicylic acid, a precursor of aspirin, carbon dioxide must be squeezed to 100 times atmospheric pressure and the reaction mixture heated to 125 ēC.

Hung Duong of the A*STAR Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences in Singapore and co-workers have shown that a copper catalyst can incorporate carbon dioxide into organic molecules under much milder conditions1. The commercially available catalyst consists of a copper atom joined to a bulky ligand called 1,3-bis-(2,6-diisopropylphenyl)imidazol-2-ylidene (IPr).

Some reactions involving carbon dioxide require high-energy starting materials that contain reactive metals such as lithium or magnesium. However, these metals often destroy other sensitive chemical groups in the molecule during the reaction. Milder starting materials that contain tin tend to be highly toxic, "so we looked at the use of more environmentally benign organoborons," says Duong.

The researchers tested a range of molecules that feature a carbon-carbon double bond close to a boron-containing chemical group. They assumed that the copper catalyst works by knocking the boron group off the molecule and briefly taking its place so that it can shepherd carbon dioxide into the right position to bond with the molecule. The products of the reaction contain a carbon-carbon double bond and a carboxylic acid group, arranged in a very predictable pattern. "These are highly versatile building blocks for organic synthesis," explains Duong.

The reaction generally produced good yields of products when run at just 70 ēC and atmospheric pressure, although it was less successful in those cases where particularly large chemical groups were attached to one end of the starting material.

The reaction also needed relatively large amounts of catalyst -- roughly one catalyst molecule for every 10 to 20 molecules of the starting material. "That amount is still too high for industrial use and needs further improvement," says Duong.

His team now aims to expand the range of reactions that their catalyst can assist. "We are currently looking at exploiting the high reactivity of the copper catalyst toward carbon dioxide to prepare other valuable organic compounds under mild conditions," he says.

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hung A. Duong, Paul B. Huleatt, Qian-Wen Tan, Eileen Lau Shuying. Regioselective Copper-Catalyzed Carboxylation of Allylboronates with Carbon Dioxide. Organic Letters, 2013; 15 (15): 4034 DOI: 10.1021/ol4019375

Cite This Page:

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Carbon dioxide tamed: Making this ubiquitous gas industrially useful." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140118122419.htm>.
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). (2014, January 18). Carbon dioxide tamed: Making this ubiquitous gas industrially useful. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140118122419.htm
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Carbon dioxide tamed: Making this ubiquitous gas industrially useful." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140118122419.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — South Korean officials say North Korea is preparing to conduct another nuclear test, but is Pyongyang just bluffing this time? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China Falls for 4x4s at Beijing Auto Show

China Falls for 4x4s at Beijing Auto Show

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) — The urban 4x4 is the latest must-have for Chinese drivers, whose conversion to the cult of the SUV is the talking point of this year's Beijing auto show. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lytro Introduces 'Illum,' A Professional Light-Field Camera

Lytro Introduces 'Illum,' A Professional Light-Field Camera

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — The light-field photography engineers at Lytro unveiled their next innovation: a professional DSLR-like camera called "Illum." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3 Reasons Why Harley Davidson Is Selling Tons of Epic Hogs

3 Reasons Why Harley Davidson Is Selling Tons of Epic Hogs

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) — Sales of motorcycles have continued to ride back from the depths of hell known as the Great Recession. Excluding scooters, sales of motorcycles increased 3% in 2013. In units, however, at 465,000 sold last year, the total remained about 50% below the peak hit in 2007. Industry leader Harley Davidson’s shareholders have benefited both by the industry recovery and positive headlines emanating from the company. Belus Capital Advisors CEO Brian Sozzi takes you beyond the headlines of the motorcycle maker. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins