Dr Russell J. Wakeham


Person imageDr Russell J. Wakeham
  • COFUND Marie Curie Research Fellow
  • Postdoctoral Fellow at University of British Columbia
  • PhD in Organic Chemistry, University of Bath


Low-cost novel catalysts for the valorisation (increase of value) of CO2 in homogenous phase


The aim of this project is to synthesise a range of well-defined, relatively inexpensive iron, molybdenum and tungsten complexes of the type shown below, to test their ability to activate hydrogen and effect the reduction of CO2, in conjunction with a frustrated Lewis pair, and quantitatively compare CO2 reduction to use intelligent design to tune the ligand scaffold to improve the catalysts activity.

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  1. To synthesise, isolate and characterise new tungsten, molybdenum, and iron complexes with tethered-cyclopentadienyl ligands, where for each metal at least one example is prepared with the substituent (X) being a P, N or O donor group.
  2. To evaluate through quantitative analysis the activity of the newly synthesised complexes with respect to the conversion of CO2 to formate using NMR spectroscopic data and to confirm conversion using hindered amines to form adducts visible by 1H NMR.
  3. To modify the ligand framework to enhance the catalytic activity of newly synthesised complexes to achieve >50% conversion of CO2 reduced to formate.

Research Funding

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 663830.



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