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Catalytic Fixation of Carbon Dioxide Into Fuel and Chemicals

  1. Zhen-Zhen Yang,
  2. Liang-Nian He,
  3. An-Hua Liu,
  4. Yu-Nong Li

Published Online: 13 APR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/0471238961.catahe.a01

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology

How to Cite

Yang, Z.-Z., He, L.-N., Liu, A.-H. and Li, Y.-N. 2012. Catalytic Fixation of Carbon Dioxide Into Fuel and Chemicals. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. 1–27.

Author Information

  1. Nankai University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 APR 2012

Chemistry Terms

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As an abundant, nontoxic, nonflammable, easily available, and renewable carbon resource, development of catalytic processes for chemical transformation of CO2 into useful chemicals/materials/fuel is of paramount importance from the standpoint of green and sustainable chemistry. Great progress has been made in catalytic utilization of CO2 as an alternative to phosgene and/or carbon monoxide in organic synthesis, mainly adopting high-energy starting materials to produce low-energy synthetic targets including cyclic carbonates, dialkyl carbonates, and polycarbonates (C-O bond formation); oxazolidinones, quinazolines, urea derivatives, carbamates, isocyanates, and polyurethanes (C-N bond formation); carboxylic acids and its derivatives (constructing C-C bond); and formic acid derivatives, methanol and methane (C-H bond formation via hydrogenation). However, the CO2 molecule poses inherent thermodynamic stability and kinetic inertness because it is the most oxidized state of carbon. In this context, specific methodologies associated with the design of robust catalysts and choice of proper reaction media, such as specially designed transition-metal containing complexes/ligands, using functionalized ionic liquids (ILs) and organocatalysts like frustrated Lewis pairs (FLPs) and using supercritical CO2 (scCO2), have been developed on the basis of underlying principles of activation of CO2 while gaining insight into its mechanism at the molecular level. The challenge is to develop easily prepared, efficient, and recyclable catalysts that are capable of activating CO2 under low pressure (preferably at 1 atm) and, thus, incorporating CO2 into organic molecules catalytically.


  • carbon dioxide;
  • conversion;
  • activation;
  • catalysis