The use of CO2 as a source of carbon in organic synthesis could be an answer to many environmental problems.
Carbon dioxide could be a virtually inexhaustible chemical reagent, cheap and non-toxic. However, when it comes to making other chemical products from carbon dioxide we need to face a challenge: the use of low energy-intensive reaction conditions.
In this paper, Arjan Kleij and Antonello Decortes describe one of the very few catalytic processes that can produce cyclic carbonates from CO2 and terminal epoxides under extremely mild (ambient) conditions in a very effective and green synthetic process. They use a ZnII salphen complex as the catalyst. This catalyst is very cheap and easy to synthesize and it can be tunable to optimize the catalytic reactivity in the synthesis of cyclic carbonates.
If you want to know more, read the paper in ChemCatChem and Chemistry Views!
A. Decortes, A. W. Kleij