Newly discovered cyclic copper complex converts carbon dioxide oxalate

Newly discovered cyclic copper complex converts carbon dioxide to oxalate

11:51 AM, 23rd December 2014
Newly discovered cyclic copper complex converts carbon dioxide to oxalate

BATON ROUGE, US: LSU researchers are contributing to ongoing work aimed at reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released in the environment. The research team, led by Andrew Maverick, Philip & Foymae West Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and acting associate dean in the LSU College of Science, has discovered a cyclic copper complex that converts carbon dioxide to oxalate, changing the environmental pollutant into a more useful organic compound.

Carbon dioxide is naturally present in the air as part of the normal circulation of carbon among the Earth’s atmosphere, ocean, and land surface; however, human activities are shifting the natural carbon cycle by adding more carbon dioxide and influencing nature’s ability to remove the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.

“The particular chemistry we have discovered is more interesting than most of the things we have done, because everyone wants to solve this carbon dioxide problem. This is just one step to solving the puzzle,” said Maverick.

Maverick and his research team have developed a three-step reaction sequence in which a copper complex converts carbon dioxide to oxalate under mild conditions. The copper complex is first reduced by reaction with sodium ascorbate or vitamin C. The reduced complex selectively reacts with carbon dioxide from air and fixes it into oxalate, with the oxalate ion bridging between two copper atoms.

The team, which includes Maverick, LSU Research Associate Frank Fronczek and post-doctoral researcher Uttam Pokharel, have co-authored a paper about their discovery to be published in the December edition of Nature Communications.

A key component to this discovery was the development of a compound that would react with carbon dioxide. The research team created more than 50 different compounds before finding the one that would react with carbon dioxide.

“Carbon dioxide does not want to react with just any compound. Even highly energetic molecules often do not react with CO2. So, it is important to search for compounds like our copper complex, which will convert CO2 into something with a little more stored energy,” said Maverick.

LSU has applied for an international patent for the team’s work, but Maverick warns that that this discovery does not signal the end of the world’s climate change issues. “Our compound takes four to five days to react. This is much too slow for anything that is of practical use,” said Maverick.

Maverick and his colleagues are currently working on ways to speed up this process. Conversion of carbon dioxide to useful organic compounds will continue to be an active area of research given its connection to global climate change and the depletion of fossil fuels. They are also investigating whether other compounds besides vitamin C can be used to drive the conversion.

© Louisiana State University News

0 Comments

Login

Your Comments (Up to 2000 characters)
Please respect our community and the integrity of its participants. WOC reserves the right to moderate and approve your comment.

Related News


Altana acquires two companies in Brazil

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL: The specialty chemicals Group, Altana, has acquired two companies in Brazil. As a result, the ACTEGA division now has its own sites ...

Read more
Chemical camouflage helps fish hide from predators

FRANKFURT, GERMANY: A reef fish can hide from predators by adopting the smell of the coral it eats, according to researchers in Australia. This is the ...

Read more
Scientists discover biologics with lesser side effects

WASHINGTON DC, US: Promising treatments known as biologics are on the market and under development for many serious illnesses such as cancer, but some ...

Read more
Laser light on nanoparticle photocell converts sunlight into electricity

EUGENE, US: Four pulses of laser light on nanoparticle photocells in a University of Oregon spectroscopy experiment has opened a window on how capture ...

Read more
PPG to acquire automotive specialty materials manufacturer, Revocoat

PITTSBURGH, US: PPG Industries has entered into exclusive negotiations with the AXSON Group to acquire Revocoat, a global supplier of sealants, adhesi ...

Read more
New drug for ebola may originate from Bangalore, India

BANGALORE, INDIA: India may well be the place where the drug to fight the killer Ebola virus originates, with two drug candidates discovered in Bangal ...

Read more