The increasing emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) across the globe through anthropogenic activities like deforestation and burning of fossil fuels and also environmental processes like respiration and volcanic eruptions has been fuelling the dangers posed by climatic changes. Dharamashi Rabari, Assistant Professor, School of Engineering and Applied Science, addresses these challenges by identifying economically viable and sustainable methods to catalyse the CO2 to produce various chemicals, fuels, and plastic precursors using Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES). Professor Rabari recently received a three-year funding from the Gujarat Council on Science and Technology for his research on CO2 cycloaddition.
Professor Rabari says, “DES and Ionic Liquids are not volatile chemicals hence they are ecologically sound catalysts to use. I employ these for several purposes, including wastewater treatment. However, Ionic Liquids are significantly expensive thus presenting DES as a more viable alternative. Through the grant period, I will use simulations to check the interactions of DES with CO2 and work toward producing propylene carbonate, which is used in the organic chemicals industry as a raw material for production.”
Propylene carbonate is colourless, odourless, and biodegradable in nature. It has a wide range of applications from solvents, additives and resins to cleaning, cosmetics, personal care products, and monomers for polymer synthesis.
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