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Utilization of CO2 via Catalysis with Ionic Liquids


While carbon dioxide, CO2, is the primary motor of climate change, it is also a viable, sustainable, yet challenging, C1 feedstock. One application of CO2 which can positively impact chemical sustainability is via its displacement of phosgene. Two industrially important chemicals where CO2 utilization can have a significant impact on sustainability are the production of aromatic carbamates, which may be potential precursors of isocyanates for the polyurethane industry, and the production of dimethylcarbonate (DMC).  The former can be synthesized from CO2, aniline, and alcohols, while the latter results from the reaction of CO2 with methanol.  In both cases, water is also formed, and a significant problem with these reactions is low, equilibrium-limited product yields.  As ionic liquids (ILs) have shown promise for enhancing CO2 reactivity and have tunable hydrophilicities, we have initiated a program to screen with high-throughput technology a large variety of ILs and catalysts for the improved synthesis of aromatic carbamates and DMC from CO2.  This presentation will discuss the current results from this program, including only the second example of a catalytic system for the synthesis of diphenylurea, an intermediate in aromatic carbamate formation, from CO2 and aniline.  Additionally, our investigations have shown that ILs are not necessarily innocuous bystanders in these reactions, but they rather can be responsible for undesirable byproducts.


Academic lecture




  • SINTEF Industry / Process Technology

Presented at

Norwegian Catalysis Symposium 2009


Trondheim, Norway


30.11.2009 - 01.12.2009



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