A Molecular Copper Catalyst for Hydrogenation of CO2 to Formate

Christopher M. Zall, John C. Linehan, Aaron M. Appel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


There is widespread interest in the hydrogenation of CO2 to energy-rich products such as formate. However, first-row transition metal catalysts for the hydrogenation of CO2 to formate remain rare. Copper complexes are widely used in the reduction of organic substrates, but their use in the catalytic hydrogenation of CO2 has been limited. Here, we demonstrate that the copper(I) complex LCu(MeCN)PF6 is an active catalyst for CO2 hydrogenation in the presence of a suitable base. Screening of bases and studies of catalytic reactions by in operando spectroscopy revealed important and unusual roles for the base in promoting H2 activation and turnover.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5301-5305
Number of pages5
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 5 2015


  • CO
  • DBU
  • H activation
  • catalysis
  • copper
  • hydrogenation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

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