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.
- H activation
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