Binding and Activation of N2O at Transition-Metal Centers: Recent Mechanistic Insights



No laughing matter, nitrous oxide’s role in stratospheric ozone depletion and as a greenhouse gas has stimulated great interest in developing and understanding its decomposition, particularly through the use of transition-metal promoters. Recent advances in our understanding of the reaction pathways for N2O reduction by metal ions in the gas phase and in heterogeneous, homogeneous, and biological catalytic systems have provided provocative ideas about the structure and properties of metal N2O adducts and derived intermediates. These ideas are likely to inform efforts to design more effective catalysts for N2O remediation.