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A Process for the Synthesis of Formic Acid by CO2 Hydrogenation: Thermodynamic Aspects and the Role of CO


  • We thank Dr. Armin Bader (BASF SE) and his team for the calorimetric measurements.


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Alcohol and CO: A new process for hydrogenating CO2 to formic acid has been developed. Calorimetric studies were carried out to clarify the role of the alcohol solvent in the catalytic cycle. CO2 hydrogenation is only thermodynamically feasible in the presence of hydrogen-bonding solvents. NMR spectroscopy indicates that catalytically active monocarbonyl complexes are formed when highly basic alkyl phosphine complexes are used as catalysts.