A reusable zirconium-based catalyst for the cycloaddition of CO2 to propylene oxide (PO) was prepared by the surface organometallic chemistry (SOMC) methodology. Accordingly, well-defined amounts of the ZrCl4·(OEt2)2 precursor were grafted on the surface of silica dehydroxylated at 700°C (SiO2-700) and at 200°C (SiO2-200) in order to afford surface coordination compounds with different podality and chemical environment. The identity of the surface complexes was thoroughly investigated by FT-IR, elemental microanalysis and solid state NMR and applied as a recoverable and reusable heterogeneous catalyst for the title reaction using pure CO2 and flue gas samples from a cement factory. The observed catalytic activity for the isolated zirconium complexes is rationalized by means of systematic DFT calculations.
- CO conversion
- Flue gas
- Heterogeneous catalysis
- Propylene carbonate
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Process Chemistry and Technology
- Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)