Franziska Ihlefeldt, Chemistry
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the most abundant, nontoxic, nonflammable and renewable feedstock for carbon building blocks. It may provide access to high-value products from an environmentally friendly and low-cost resource.
One process that has gained a lot of interest the last decades is the copolymerization of CO2 and epoxides to provide biodegradable materials that exhibit low toxicity, high biocompatibility, and potential biomedical applications.
In order to make the whole process greener, not only concerning the polymer building blocks, we focus on finding more environmentally friendly catalysts. Iron is a particularly attractive metal because it is listed as non-endangered element. Compared to similar catalysts containing cobalt and chromium, iron is readily available and low cost.