Prof. Walter Leitner, director of the Molecular Catalysis Department at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion (MPI CEC) and his team developed a new manganese catalyst capable of reducing carbon dioxide and other challenging substrates in a highly selective manner.
The quest for new chemical transformations to generate value from non-fossil resources is a major challenge and opportunity for innovation towards sustainable chemical processes. From an ecological and economic standpoint, the efficient reduction of carbonyl groups, i.e. molecular units with a carbon-oxygen double bond, is highly desirable in this context. Especially the C=O units in carboxylic acids and carbonic acid derivatives, including ultimately carbon dioxide itself, are notoriously difficult to be reduced under mild conditions. The derived alcohols constitute valuable building blocks for the synthesis of fuels, plastics and fertilizers on a bulk chemical scale and serve as starting materials in the pharmaceutical industry.
In a paper published in the Journal Nature Communications, Walter Leitner and coworkers now report for the first time the manganese-catalyzed hydroboration of carbon dioxide and other challenging carbonyl groups.
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Original publication: Kaithal, A., Sen , S., Erken, C., Weyhermüller, T., Hölscher, M., Werlé, C., Leitner, W., (2018). Manganese-catalyzed hydroboration fo carbon dioxide and other challenging carbonyl groups, Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06831-9 I