화학공학소재연구정보센터
Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.141, No.1, 272-280, 2019
Benzimidazoles as Metal-Free and Recyclable Hydrides for CO2 Reduction to Formate
We report a novel metal-free chemical reduction of CO2 by a recyclable benzimidazole-based organo-hydride, whose choice was guided by quantum chemical calculations. Notably, benzimidazole-based hydride donors rival the hydride-donating abilities of noble-metal-based hydrides such as [Ru(tpy)(bpy)H](+) and [Pt(depe)(2)H](+). Chemical CO2 reduction to the formate anion (HCOO-) was carried out in the absence of biological enzymes, a sacrificial Lewis acid, or a base to activate the substrate or reductant. (CO2)-C-13 experiments confirmed the formation of (HCOO-)-C-13 by CO, reduction with the formate product characterized by H-1 NMR and C-13 NMR spectroscopy and ESI-MS. The highest formate yield of 66% was obtained in the presence of potassium tetrafluoroborate under mild conditions. The likely role of exogenous salt additives in this reaction is to stabilize and shift the equilibrium toward the ionic products. After CO2 reduction, the benzimidazole-based hydride donor was quantitatively oxidized to its aromatic benzimidazolium cation, establishing its recyclability. In addition, we electrochemically reduced the benzimidazolium cation to its organo-hydride form in quantitative yield, demonstrating its potential for electrocatalytic CO2 reduction. These results serve as a proof of concept for the electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 by sustainable, recyclable, and metal-free organo-hydrides.