Seminar: Electrochemical conversion of CO2 into organic carbonates

Abstract:  Many industrial chemical processes involve a high-energy demand (often still derived from fossil fuels), toxic reactants, and the production of high amounts of waste. Therefore, the development of more efficient, less hazardous technologies, based on renewable energies, has become one of the most challenging topics for chemical synthesis. For achieving these goals, the combination of catalysis with electrochemical methods, that is, electrocatalysis, can play a very important role [1]. With electrochemical methods, toxic and dangerous chemicals can be replaced with clean electrons, the efficiency and selectivity of the reactions can be tuned by choosing the applied potential, and more importantly, the energy used can come from renewable sources like wind or solar.

Organic carbonates are important chemical building block used in many industrial synthesis reactions, such as synthesis of polycarbonates. [2, 3] Because of the high demand of these compounds, the development of new sustainable methodologies (direct synthesis, less waste reagents, green energy) is much desired, especially in a moment that electrochemical production processes using gas diffusion electrodes are already established in chemical industry, as for example, the oxygen-depolarized cathodes in HCl electrolysis.

[1] Frontana-Uribe, B. A. et al; Green Chem. 2010, 12 (12) 2099– 2119; [2] Delledonne, D. et al; Appl. Catal., A 2001, 221 (1–2) 241– 251; [3] Kim, W. B. et al; Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 2004, 43, 1897– 1914 [4] Kuwertz, R. et al; Electrochem. Commun. 2013, 34, 320– 322; [5] Marta C. Figueiredo, et al, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139 (41), pp 14693–14698; [6] Marta C. Figueiredo et al, ACS Catal., 2018, 8 (4), pp 3087–3090

Gerard van Rooij
Dr. Marta Costa Figueiredo

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