Concentration of carbon dioxide by electrochemically modulated complexation with a binuclear copper complex

Aaron M. Appel, Rachel Newell, Daniel L. Dubois, M. Rakowski Dubois

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39 Citations (Scopus)


The reactions of bicarbonate ion with a series of binuclear Cu(II) complexes in buffered aqueous solution have been studied, and effective binding constants for bicarbonate have been determined at pH 7.4 for the complexes [Cu 2(taec)] 4+ (taec = N,N′,N″,N‴- tetrakis(2-aminoethyl)-1,4,8,11-tetraazacyclotetradecane) and [Cu 2(tpmc)(OH)] 3+ (tpmc = N,N′,N″,N‴- tetrakis(2-pyridylmethyl)-1,4,8,11-tetraazacyclotetradecane). [Cu 2(o-xyl-DMC 2)] 4+ (o-xyl-DMC 2 = α,α′-bis(5,7-dimethyl-1,4,8,11-tetraazacyclotetradecan-6-yl) -o-xylene) did not react with bicarbonate ion in an aqueous solution buffered at this pH. The complexes were reduced by controlled-potential electrolysis, and the stability of the Cu(I) derivatives in aqueous solution and their affinity for bicarbonate/carbonate ion were investigated. On the basis of these fundamental studies, [Cu 2(tpmc)(μ-OH)] 3+ has been identified as an air-stable, water-soluble carrier for the capture and concentration of CO 2 by electrochemically modulated complexation. The carrier binds to the carbonate ion strongly in its oxidized, Cu(II) form and releases the ion rapidly when reduced to the Cu(I) complex. In small-scale electrochemical pumping experiments designed to demonstrate the feasibility of this approach, CO 2 has been pumped from an initial 10% CO 2/N 2 mixture up to a final concentration of 75%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3046-3056
Number of pages11
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 2 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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