Organic Chemistry

Ionic liquids can ring in carbon dioxide

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Science  27 Mar 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6229, pp. 1433
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6229.1433-e

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.

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 10.1002/anie.201411969 (2015).

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