ESR6 Project

Activation of carbon dioxide with highly Lewis acidic compounds

Recruting institution: FSU
Diploma-delivering institutions: FSU, UPS
Thesis co-directors: Matthias Westerhausen (FSU, Jena, DE), Sébastien Bontemps (LCC, Toulouse, FR)
Secondment host: IFP Energie Nouvelles (FR)


Synthesis of hydrides and alkyl derivatives of alkali, alkaline earth and earth elements in order to activate carbon dioxide, with a particular attention to calcium compounds.[1,2] This project will benefit from the complementary expertise of the two groups on earth abundant compounds and CO2 chemistry.[3] The most promising complexes will be tested at IFPEN in various processes of interest.

[1] D. Mukherjee, D. Schuhknecht, J. Okuda, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 9590-9602.
[2] A. Koch, Q. Dufrois, M. Wirgenings, H. Görls, S. Krieck, M. Etienne, G. Pohnert, M. Westerhausen, Chem. Eur. J. 2018, 24, 16840-16850.
[3] S. Bontemps, Coord. Chem. Rev. 2016, 308, Part 2, 117.

Expected Results

The 4e-reduction of CO2 is the most difficult but the one giving rise to the most versatile reactivity.[1] We expect to disclose new and selective 4e-reduction systems with alkali, alkaline earth and earth elements with TOF equal or higher than the best reported to date of about 100 h-1, and exploit such results to further enlarge the scope of CO2 transformations in C-C bond formation. The PhD student will be trained in various field spanning from isolation of highly sensitive complexes to gas handling and academic and industrial catalytic reactions.

[1] G. Jin, C. G. Werncke, Y. Escudié, S. Sabo-Etienne, S. Bontemps, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137 9563–9566.

Wimonsiri Huadsai

Wimonsiri Huadsai

PhD Student - ESR6

My name is Wimonsiri HUADSAI, I am originally from Thailand, and I did my Bachelor’s degree at Mahidol University. I then moved to France and I have completed my Master’s degree at the University of Rennes I in the field of Catalysis, molecule and Green Chemistry. I am very passionate about the environment and the Earth we live in, and I believe that chemistry and sustainability must work together to solve environmental problems! That is why, for my PhD, I am going to work on the topic of Carbon dioxide activation with highly Lewis acidic compounds at FSU Jena University.