CO2 absorption and its conversion at mild conditions

In this project, we are going to design a series of bifunctional ionic liquids (ILs) by combining experiments and molecule modelling to achieve the goal of efficient conversion of CO2 into five-membered cyclic carbonates under room temperature and atmospheric pressure conditions.

As a 100% atom-economical reaction, the cycloaddition of CO2 with epoxides cannot only reduce CO2, but also achieve the cyclic carbonates.

Numerous ionic liquids have been developed as metal-free and single component catalysts for the reaction in the quest for green processes. However, most of these catalysts often require harsh reaction conditions (significantly higher temperatures and pressures).

Recently, several efficient catalytic systems have been developed, such as a mixture of hydrogen-bond donors reported under relatively mild conditions, but the reactions still require a high CO2 pressure, a large amount of co-catalysts and a long reaction time. Hence, the design of efficient single component and metal-free catalysts for the chemical fixation of CO2 at ambient CO2 pressure and ambient temperature still remains a great challenge.

In this project, we will synthesize a series of bifunctional ILs with abundant hydroxyl groups that have proved much helpful for promoting ring-opening of epoxide. These bifunctional ILs can easily realize the cycloaddition of CO2 with epoxides under ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure of CO2 because of the dual activation of CO2 and epoxide.


Xianglei Meng
PhD student
DTU Chemical Engineering