A cobalt-based catalyst for the hydrogenation of CO2 under ambient conditions

Matthew S. Jeletic, Michael T. Mock, Aaron M. Appel, John C. Linehan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

239 Citations (Scopus)


Because of the continually rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, research for the conversion of CO2 into fuels using carbon-neutral energy is an important and current topic in catalysis. Recent research on molecular catalysts has led to improved rates for conversion of CO2 to formate, but the catalysts are based on precious metals such as iridium, ruthenium and rhodium and require high temperatures and high pressures. Using established thermodynamic properties of hydricity (ΔGH) and acidity (pKa), we designed a cobalt-based catalyst system for the production of formate from CO2 and H 2. The complex Co(dmpe)2H (dmpe is 1,2- bis(dimethylphosphino)ethane) catalyzes the hydrogenation of CO2, with a turnover frequency of 3400 h-1 at room temperature and 1 atm of 1:1 CO2:H2 (74 000 h-1 at 20 atm) in tetrahydrofuran. These results highlight the value of fundamental thermodynamic properties in the rational design of catalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11533-11536
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - Aug 7 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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