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Pure Appl. Chem., 2012, Vol. 84, No. 3, pp. 581-602

Published online 2011-09-01

Organic synthesis using carbon dioxide as phosgene-free carbonyl reagent*

An-Hua Liu, Yu-Nong Li and Liang-Nian He*

State Key Laboratory and Institute of Elemento-Organic Chemistry, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China

Abstract: CO2 is very attractive as a typical renewable feedstock for manufacturing commodity chemicals, fuel, and materials since it is an abundant, nontoxic, nonflammable, and easily available C1 resource. The development of greener chemical methodologies for replacing the utility of hazardous and environmentally undesirable phosgene largely relies on ingenious activation and incorporation of CO2 into valuable compounds, which is of paramount importance from a standpoint of green chemistry and sustainable development. Great efforts have been devoted to constructing C–C, C–O, and C–N bond on the basis of CO2 activation through molecular catalysis owing to its kinetic and thermodynamic stability. The aim of this article is to demonstrate the versatile use of CO2 in organic synthesis as the alternative carbonyl source of phosgene, with the main focus on utilization of CO2 as phosgene replacement for the synthesis of value-added compounds such as cyclic carbonates, oxa-zolidinones, ureas, isocyanates, and polymers, affording greener pathways for future chemical processes.
*Pure Appl. Chem. 84, xxx–xxx (2012). A collection of invited papers for the IUPAC project 2008-016-1-300 “Chlorine-free Synthesis for Green Chemistry”.