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Keywords:

  • alkenes;
  • calorimetry;
  • carbon dioxide;
  • carboxylation;
  • electrochemistry
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The addition of CO2 to olefins in nanoscale water droplets was studied by mass spectrometry. One electron is enough to turn a CO2 molecule into its bent, reactive radical anionic form (left in scheme), which is stabilized by a hydration shell. This species reacts with methyl acrylate by radical addition to the carbon–carbon double bond. Without the hydration shell, however, neutral carbon dioxide is released.