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Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 Using First-Row Transition Metal Complexes with Macrocyclic Ligands

Presenters Name: 
Lauren Santucci
Co Presenters Name: 
Primary Research Mentor: 
Charles Machan
Secondary Research Mentor: 
Connor Geraghty
11:00 - 12:15
Time of Presentation: 
2019 - 11:00am to 12:15pm
Newcomb Hall Ballroom
Presentation Type: 
Presentations Academic Category: 
Grant Program Recipient: 
USOAR Program

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from anthropogenic sources continue to rise and are contributing to damaging effects on the environment, one of them being the shift to more extreme weather conditions from global warming. The cause of this is the continually increasing use of fossil fuels, which has been our primary source of nonrenewable energy. As a result, there is the need for research into renewable and cleaner sources of energy to limit the release of CO2 into our atmosphere. The challenge faced by researchers, however, is the high activation energy barrier to CO2 activation for subsequent conversion into commodity chemicals and fuel precursors. We aim to develop Earth-abundant transition metal catalysts that will be effective at electrochemically reducing CO2 to more useful products with high activity. Currently, we have been focusing on the synthesis and purification of macrocyclic complexes, specifically with Co(III) metal centers. The synthesis and purity of the compounds have been assessed using UV-Vis and 1H NMR spectroscopy. The electrochemical activity of these complexes will be characterized in the future using infrared-spectroelectrochemistry, cyclic voltammetry and bulk electrolysis experiments, such that the mechanism behind the reduction of CO2 can be probed directly.