Chemists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, have made polystyrene-bound ionic liquids based on diethanolamine, which they claim can fix carbon dioxide gas. Carbon dioxide is converted into cyclic carbonates (pictured) without the need for either additional co-catalyst nor solvent.
The system shows itself to be robust and has potential for using frustratingly plentiful carbon dioxide as a feedstock for the chemical industry. This might help reduce our dependence on oil-derived feedstocks and also partially ameliorate the impact of burning fossil fuels on atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.
- Polystyrene-bound diethanolamine based ionic liquids for chemical fixation of CO2,
Xi Chena, Jian Suna, Jinquan Wanga, Weiguo Cheng,
Tetrahedron Lett. 2012, 53(22), 2684–2688.