In England, scientists at the University of Oxford have found a way to convert captured carbon dioxide into methanol for use as fuel, rather than squandering it in underground storage. The technique uses the Lewis acid tris(pentafluorophenyl) borane and the Lewis base tetramethylpiperidine that have been modified to be too large to get close enough to form an adduct (Lewis bases, which carry a lone pair of electrons, can bond with Lewis acids to form molecules called adducts). Because the molecules can't react, they become "frustrated," creating a reactive situation. Enter hydrogen gas into the fray and the agitated molecules tear apart the hydrogen atoms and bond with them. The acid and hydrogen ion form a boron-hydrogen bond which then breaks apart stable carbon dioxide which further reacts with hydrogen to form methanol and water. The process can be done at the relatively low temperature of 16[degrees] degrees Celsius and standard pressure. Since the process is carbon-dioxide specific (the Lewis pair don't react with carbon monoxide) it could prove valuable in industrial applications.
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|Title Annotation:||INTERNATIONAL WIRE|
|Publication:||Canadian Chemical News|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||Mar 1, 2010|
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