Fernando Castro, PhD student under the supervision of Professor Carles Bo, has defended his PhD Thesis entitled “Theoretical Studies on Transition Metal Catalyzed Carbon Dioxide Fixation” (assigned to the Department of Physical and Inorganic Chemistry of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili) publicly on October 9th at the ICIQ auditorium.
The members of his evaluation committee were: Prof. Feliu Maseras (ICIQ), Dr. Marta Feliz (Instituto de Tecnología Química, UPV-CSIC) and Dr. Pere Miró (Jacobs University, Bremen).
Theoretical studies have been conducted in order to evaluate reaction mechanisms for CO2 fixation processes catalyzed by transition metal complexes. Thus, detailed mechanistic steps (ring-opening, CO2 insertion and ring-closing reactions) were described for the catalytic formation of cyclic carbonates from CO2 and a series of epoxides based on Zn(salphen) complexes, in conjunction with NBu4X(X=I, Br). Moreover, a highly active Al-based amino tris(phenolate) catalyst was considered to examine the same reaction as well as the catalytic formation of polycarbonates. The theoretical outcome was found to be fully in line with the experiments in a qualitative and quantitative manner.