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Proton-Assisted Reduction of CO2 by Cobalt Aminopyridine Macrocycles

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journal contribution
posted on 19.04.2016, 00:00 by Alon Chapovetsky, Thomas H. Do, Ralf Haiges, Michael K. Takase, Smaranda C. Marinescu
We report here the efficient reduction of CO2 to CO by cobalt aminopyridine macrocycles. The effect of the pendant amines on catalysis was investigated. Several cobalt complexes based on the azacalix[4]­(2,6)­pyridine framework with different substitutions on the pendant amine groups have been synthesized (R = H (1), Me (2), and allyl (3)), and their electrocatalytic properties were explored. Under an atmosphere of CO2 and in the presence of weak Brønsted acids, large catalytic currents are observed for 1, corresponding to the reduction of CO2 to CO with excellent Faradaic efficiency (98 ± 2%). In comparison, complexes 2 and 3 generate CO with TONs at least 300 times lower than 1, suggesting that the presence of the pendant NH moiety of the secondary amine is crucial for catalysis. Moreover, the presence of NH groups leads to a positive shift in the reduction potential of the CoI/0 couple, therefore decreasing the overpotential for CO2 reduction.