Tailored Catalysts for Carbon Dioxide Utilization

Project Identification
Project Period
9/2021 - 8/2024
Investor / Pogramme / Project type
Masaryk University
MU Faculty or unit
Faculty of Science

Waste carbon dioxide can be captured in a reaction with epoxides and form cyclic organic carbonates (COC’s) - an exciting family of highly polar organic compounds that can be used as solvents, battery electrolytes, precursors for polymeric materials, and intermediates in fine chemical synthesis. The key reaction steps of COC’s production from CO2 and epoxides are enabled only in the presence of multifunctional catalysts. While broad attention has been paid to this system in the past few years, the catalysts presented to now still suffer from insufficient activity, non-recyclability, and low stereoselectivity/specificity. In this project, we will apply specific preparation methods based on non-aqueous chemistry to prepare tailored, well-defined, and targeted multifunctional heterogeneous catalysts (particularly highly porous silica-based materials containing well-defined metal sites and alkylammonium/alkylamine surface groups). The coordination geometry of metal sites will be controlled with a particular aim to introduce chiral ligands. We will characterize these materials by a wide variety of techniques, including advanced analyses (e.g., solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (SS NMR) supported by density functional theory (DFT) calculations, X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES), and extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS)). Most importantly, we will apply these well-defined materials in the CO2-epoxide coupling and identify the most active, stereoselective/specific, and stable multifunctional catalysts for COC’s production.

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