Gold incorporated hematite nanocatalyst for solvent-free CO2 fixation under atmospheric pressure†
We have developed an efficient one-pot synthesis strategy for the preparation of hematite (α-Fe2O3) and gold-integrated hematite (Au/α-Fe2O3) nanocatalysts. The nanostructured hematite along with tetrabutylammonium iodide (TBAI) has emerged as a proficient catalyst-combination for the reaction between carbon dioxide (CO2) and epoxide to form cyclic carbonate with 77% conversion under atmospheric CO2 pressure and solvent-free conditions. The catalytic activity of hematite further improved on the incorporation of a miniscule amount of gold (Au) into the hematite system. The as-prepared Au/α-Fe2O3 nanocatalyst with TBAI is found to be very efficient for the CO2 fixation reaction with 91% conversion under the optimized reaction conditions. The excellent catalytic activity of Au/α-Fe2O3 is attributed to the synergistic effect between α-Fe2O3 and Au species for the efficient fixation of CO2. Furthermore, the recyclability and post catalytic analysis imply the robust nature of the heterogeneous Au/α-Fe2O3 nanocatalyst.