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Our research over the last years has covered different aspects of organic synthesis, mainly focusing on transition metal catalysis involving small gaseous building blocks, leading to the development of highly efficient methods for introducing isotope labels into organic compounds. Furthermore, we have since 2015 been part of the center of excellence CADIAC (Carbon Dioxide Activation Center), were the ultimate goal is to utilize carbon dioxide in the synthesis of valuable compounds. As such, much of our research deals with developing efficient methods for the reduction of carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide, along with developing new carbonylative protocols where we employ CO along with transition metal catalysis, in order to synthesize and isotope label high value compounds.

Palladium and Nickel Catalyzed Carbonylations

Since 2011, where we first published our two-chamber technology COware and our two solid CO precursors COgen and SilaCOgen, much of our research has focused on developing palladium-catalyzed carbonylations with near stoichiometric amounts of carbon monoxide. A key advantage of this research, is the possibility to introduce isotopically labeled carbon into the molecules of interest. Since 2018, we have started to explore nickel catalyzed carbonylative couplings as well, where we have the possibility to access substrates which would be challenging with palladium catalysis - also here COware and our two solid CO-precursors are of high importance for isotope labeling. 

Reduction of Carbon Dioxide

Since 2014, we have been working on utilizing CO2 as a C1-building block in organic synthesis. One of our main goals has been to investigate the reduction of CO2 into CO, both chemically and electrochemically. Furthermore, we have in many cases shown that the formed CO can be employed in subsequent carbonylation reactions, to yield valuable chemicals.

Solid Precursors for Other Small Gaseous Building Blocks and their Utilization in Organic Synthesis

Besides from having developed solid precursors for generating carbon monoxide, our research has also focused on the generation of other small gaseous building blocks from solid precursors. During the last years, we have developed systems where we can generate hydrogen, hydrogen cyanide, methanethiol and ethylene ex situ from solid precursors and use these gasses as reagents in transition metal catalyzed reactions. Also here, we rely on the use of COware and the developed protocols are highly important for introducing isotope labels.  

Direct Incorporation of Carbon Dioxide

Along with our interest in developing reactions which can reduce carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide, we have also been engaged in developing procedures which utilize CO2 directly.

Deconstruction of Plastic

We have recently started to look into the deconstruction of plastic, like the hydrogenation of polyurethane to base chemicals.