ACS Spring 2023
Invited talk

Universal catalysts for CO2 capture, storage and upcycling to high value materials


Current strategies to reduce CO2 emissions are insufficient—both point-source and direct-air-capture (DAC) must be considered to mitigate excessive atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Given the urgency of climate change issues and the immense challenges of developing viable methodologies for CO2 conversion, we posit that understanding structure–property relationships of organic/inorganic molecular reactivity across multiple length scales will lead to the evolution of remarkably efficient transformations of CO2 and revolutionize chemistries to control the fate of this greenhouse gas. Thus, we sought to investigate families of superbases (SBs) that serve as CO2 mitigating agents. This talk will focus on describing the wide-scope reactivity of a family of modular SBs that can be exploited in a variety of chemical transformations of CO2 from dilute and pure gaseous sources. We found that the SBs can form zwitterionic complexes to activate CO2, which can be readily mineralized into metal carbonates. Importantly, the highly reactive nature of SBs renders them widely useful to upcycle CO2 into high value products.