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CO2Recycling Report Summary

Project ID: 336467
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: France

Mid-Term Report Summary - CO2RECYCLING (A Diagonal Approach to CO2 Recycling to Fine Chemicals)

95% of our chemical commodities rely on non-renewable resources, namely hydrocarbons. Because fossil resources are a limited feedstock and their extensive use results in the problematic accumulation of atmospheric CO2, the organic chemistry industry will face important challenges in the next decades to find alternative feedstocks and use carbon-free energy sources, to embrace sustainability. To solve this ecological and economical conflict, new methods for the chemical recycling of carbon dioxide are needed, to use CO2 as a C1 building block for the production of organic chemicals. Yet, as a waste, CO2 is thermodynamically and kinetically difficult to transform and only three chemical processes recycling CO2 have been industrialized to date. To expand the scope of chemicals available from CO2, the CO2Recycling project aims at developing new catalysts and transformations for the conversion of CO2 to value-added products.
Novel and innovative processes have been developed to enable the conversion of CO2 to methylamines and aminals for the first time. They rely on the use of CO2, reductants and catalysts to transform amines to methylamines, in an efficient way. Because methylamines are basic chemicals for the industry and have widespread applications as fertilizers, solvents and reagents, future efforts will be directed towards relevant targets.
The project also involves a strong component of mechanistic studies devoted to the better understanding of the role of the catalyst in CO2 activation and transformation. This research line relies on experimental and theoretical techniques and it has enabled and facilitated the design of novel catalyst structures for the valorization of CO2, SO2 and waste polymers (from plastics or biomass). In turn, the project has led to the publication of 18 peer-reviewed papers and 9 patents so far.

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