Catalyst Design for Efficient CO2 Transformations: Sustainable Approaches toward the Synthesis of Value-added Products

Head researcher: Rui M. B. Carrilho

Research Area: Coordination Chemistry and Catalysis


Efficient transformations of carbon dioxide into useful organic compounds present obvious economic and environmental benefits, arising from the utilization of renewable resources and the decrease of the greenhouse effect.

Some of the major challenges regarding the utilization of CO2 are: addition to epoxides, carboxylation of C-H bonds and its use as a surrogate for highly toxic carbon monoxide, which is produced from fossil fuels and used in industrial carbonylation processes.

The main goals of this project are:

  1. Synthesis and characterization of tetrapyrrole macrocycle-based metal catalysts
  2. CO2 addition to epoxides and sequential epoxidation/CO2 cycloaddition: synthesis of cyclic carbonates
  3. Copolymerization between CO2 and nature-abundant raw materials, such as terpene and steroid derivatives: synthesis of biodegradable polymers
  4. Carboxylation of C-H bonds
  5. Design and development of efficient bimetallic catalysts based on Cu-Rh and Fe-Rh complexes modified with phosphorus ligands, capable of cooperatively promoting CO2 reduction (via reverse water-gas shift reaction) and carbonylation reactions.



  • A. M. Masdeu-Bultó, University Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona (Spain)
  • C. Claver, University Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona (Spain)
  • T. Kégl, University of Pécs, Pécs (Hungary)

Selected Publications

  1. Solventless Coupling of Epoxides and CO2 in Compressed Medium Catalysed by Fluorinated Metalloporphyrins, Rui M. B. Carrilho, Lucas D. Dias, Raquel Rivas, Mariette M. Pereira, Carmen Claver, Anna M. Masdeu-Bultó, Catalysts, 2017, 7, 210 (DOI: 10.3390/catal7070210).
  2. Hybrid‐Metalloporphyrin Magnetic Nanoparticles as Catalysts for Sequential Transformation of Alkenes and CO2 into Cyclic Carbonates, Lucas D. Dias, Rui M. B. Carrilho, César A. Henriques, Mário J. F. Calvete, Anna M. Masdeu-Bultó, Carmen Claver, Liane M. Rossi, Mariette M. Pereira, ChemCatChem, 2018, 10, 2792-2803 (DOI: 10.1002/cctc.201800397).