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Ref-Nr: TA-MBM-BioT-1967-SUG


Polycarbonate haben exzellente mechanische und optische Eigenschaften, sind jedoch aufgrund ihrer aufwendigen Produktion vergleichsweise teuer. Wissenschaftler der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen haben einen Katalysator für eine einfache und kostengünstige Synthese von Polycarbonat aus dem Treibhausgas CO2 entwickelt.


Despite its relatively high costs polycarbonates are in many cases the first choice if high quality synthetics are needed. Scientists from the Georg August University in Göttingen developed a highly active catalyst, which allows for the synthesis of polycarbonates out of CO2 under simple reaction conditions. Thus the technology allows a cost saving production of polycarbonates, while binding CO2.

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Even though the production costs are comparatively high, the demand for polycarbonates constantly increases. Its excellent mechanical and optical properties, the suitability for coatings and other surface modifications and its potential for CO2 capture and storage makes the synthesis of polycarbonates from CO2 highly attractive.
As a result great efforts have been devoted to the catalytic copolymerization of CO2 with epoxides to form polycarbonates, since the initial discovery by Inoue et al. In 1969. However, activating CO2 is still a challenge. Ring-opening-polymerization proved to be a suitable strategy for which various promising catalysts have already been developed.  Although some proved to be active at the most desirable pressure of one atmosphere in CO2, they have several drawbacks, which are for example low chemoselectivity, the use of toxic metals and additives, low TON and TOF values and low catalyst isolation yields.


Scientists from the University of Goettingen developed a highly active and readily accessible proline-based dizinc-catalyst for CO2 / Epoxide Copolymerization. This novel chiral zinc catalyst can be isolated in 97 % yield from commercial sources (Figure 1).

The catalyst produces polycarbonates selectively from neat cyclohexene oxide under 1 bar of CO2 pressure at temperatures above 50°C. At 80 °C reaction temperature, TONs of 1684 and initial TOFs up to 149 h were measured, while producing an isotactic-enriched polycarbonate with a probability of 65 % for the formation of a meso diad.


  • the catalyst can be easily synthesized with extraordinarily high yields
  • no need for highly toxic chemicals like phosgene
  • polycarbonate synthesis is possible at atmospheric pressure
  • high selectivity and reaction efficiency (TON /TOF) of the
  • CO2 binding
  • nearly cost free starting chemical, when used in parallel to a CO2 emitting processes e.g. like PET-plastic production
  • cost saving: less security (toxicity), simple reaction tanks (1 atm), energy saving (pressure and temperature)


The catalyst can be used for industrial synthesis of polycarbonates. The technology is especially interesting, when it established in parallel to a CO2 emitting reaction, since in this case the raw material is nearly free of cost.

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  • PCT PCT/EP2017/066128 anhängig


MBM ScienceBridge, Technologietransfer, technology tansfer, Technologieangebot, technology offer, Polymerchemie, polymer chemistry, chemistry, catalyst, catalyst, polycarbonate, polymerisation, synthesis, CO2, synthetics

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