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Diiridium Bimetallic Complexes Function as a Redox Switch To Directly Split Carbonate into Carbon Monoxide and Oxygen

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posted on 07.03.2016, 00:00 by Tsun-Ren Chen, Fang-Siou Wu, Hsiu-Pen Lee, Kelvin H.-C. Chen
A pair of diiridium bimetallic complexes exhibit a special type of oxidation–reduction reaction that could directly split carbonate into carbon monoxide and molecular oxygen via a low-energy pathway needing no sacrificial reagent. One of the bimetallic complexes, IrIII(μ-Cl)2IrIII, can catch carbonato group from carbonate and reduce it to CO. The second complex, the rare bimetallic complex IrIV(μ-oxo)2IrIV, can react with chlorine to release O2 by the oxidation of oxygen ions with synergistic oxidative effect of iridium ions and chlorine atoms. The activation energy needed for the key reaction is quite low (∼20 kJ/mol), which is far less than the dissociation energy of the CO bond in CO2 (∼750 kJ/mol). These diiridium bimetallic complexes could be applied as a redox switch to split carbonate or combined with well-known processes in the chemical industry to build up a catalytic system to directly split CO2 into CO and O2.