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Ionic Liquids and Green Reaction/Separation Engine

Ionic liquids can ring in carbon dioxide

The growing risks of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are prompting chemists to explore more productive uses for the gas. Hu et al. present a simple means of coaxing carbon dioxide into small, ring-shaped molecules called oxazolidinones, which are of interest in medicinal chemistry research. Specifically, they found that certain ionic liquids can act as both solvent and catalyst to couple CO2 with propargylic amines. This environmentally benign approach avoids the need to add metals to accelerate the reaction. The solvent showed consistent performance over five cycles of recovery and reuse.

Science 27 March 2015: 

Vol. 347 no. 6229 p. 1433 

DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6229.1433-e