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Molecules 2019, 24(2), 269;

Laminaria digitata and Palmaria palmata Seaweeds as Natural Source of Catalysts for the Cycloaddition of CO2 to Epoxides

Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, Department of Chemistry, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Robert Raja, Matthew E. Potter and Stephanie Chapman
Received: 11 December 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 12 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalysis: Providing Sustainable Solutions to Global Challenges)
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Seaweed powder has been found to act as an effective catalyst for the fixation of CO2 into epoxides to generate cyclic carbonates under solvent free conditions. Model background reactions were performed using metal halides and amino acids typically found in common seaweeds which showed potassium iodide (KI) to be the most active. The efficacy of the seaweed catalysts kelp (Laminaria digitata) and dulse (Palmaria palmata) was probed based on particle size, showing that kelp possessed greater catalytic ability, achieving a maximum conversion and selectivity of 63.7% to styrene carbonate using a kelp loading of 80% by weight with respect to epoxide, 40 bar of CO2, 120 °C for 3 h. Maximizing selectivity was difficult due to the generation of diol side product from residual H2O found in kelp, along with a chlorinated by-product thought to form due to a high quantity of chloride salts in the seaweeds. Data showed there was loss of organic matter upon use of the kelp catalyst, likely due to the breakdown of organic compounds and their subsequent removal during product extraction. This was highlighted as the likely cause of loss of catalytic activity upon reuse of the Kelp catalyst. View Full-Text
Keywords: CO2 sequestration; green catalyst; clean synthesis; sustainability CO2 sequestration; green catalyst; clean synthesis; sustainability

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Comerford, J.W.; Gray, T.; Lie, Y.; Macquarrie, D.J.; North, M.; Pellis, A. Laminaria digitata and Palmaria palmata Seaweeds as Natural Source of Catalysts for the Cycloaddition of CO2 to Epoxides. Molecules 2019, 24, 269.

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