A Well-Defined Iron Catalyst for the Reduction of Bicarbonates and Carbon Dioxide to Formates, Alkyl Formates, and Formamides


  • This work was supported by the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the BMBF, and the DFG (Leibniz prize). We thank the EPFL and the Swiss National Science Foundation for financial support.


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A will of iron: An active well-defined iron complex (see structure; gray C, white H, yellow B, green F, brown Fe, pink P) catalyzes the title reaction (see scheme). The iron-catalyzed reduction of readily available bicarbonates to formates has also been demonstrated for the first time. This reaction could be an important step in the use of CO2 for hydrogen storage.