Completely alternating copolymerization of CO2 and epoxides or oxetanes to polycarbonates
Carbon dioxide capture and storage technologies have experienced significant advancements over the last decade. Some of this large surplus of sequestered anthropogenic CO2 provides opportunities for its utilization as an inexpensive source of chemical carbon. Indeed, in order to maintain a sustainable chemical industry, alternative feedstocks are needed to replace decreasing petroleum supplies and CO2 can contribute to meeting these needs. Among the processes exhibiting commercial viability are the incorporation of CO2 into cyclic organic carbonates or polymeric materials. Important among the latter processes is the completely alternating copolymerization of CO2 and epoxides or oxetanes to afford polycarbonates. A major challenge in this area is to find active, selective catalysts for activating the very stable CO2 molecule. This presentation will address the development of transition metal catalysts designed to effectively perform these tasks.