Electrochemical Recycling of Homogeneous Catalysts

Professor Xiao Su and colleagues have developed an electrochemical system for the separation and reutilization of homogenous catalysts including Pt and Pd-cross coupling catalysts and many other noble metal homogenous catalysts. This catalyst recycling system allows for the direct capture of a homogenous catalysts from a reaction mixture, the captured catalyst can then be desorbed into a new reaction mixture. Notably, this catalyst capture and release system operates without chemically altering the catalyst species thus this system maintains the original catalyst activity. This electrochemical system utilizes redox polymer electrodes allowing for the >99% catalyst adsorption within a 5-minute period. The adsorption properties of this system can be easily adjusted by modifying the applied current and electrode dimensions. Furthermore, >99% of the catalyst adsorbed can be released from the redox electrodes resulting in a highly efficient catalyst recycling system.