454. Quo Vadis CO2 activation: Catalytic Reduction of CO2 to Methanol Using Aluminum and Gallium/Carbon-based Ambiphiles
We report on so-called "hidden FLPs" (FLP: frustrated Lewis pair) consisting of a phosphorus ylide featuring a group 13 fragment in the ortho position of a phenyl ring scaffold to form five-membered ring structures. Although the formation of the Lewis acid/base adducts was observed in the solid state, most of the title compounds readily react with carbon dioxide to provide stable insertion products. Strikingly, 0.3–3.0 mol% of the reported aluminum and gallium/carbon-based ambiphiles catalyze the reduction of CO2 to methanol with satisfactory high selectivity and yields using pinacol borane as stoichiometric reduction equivalent. Comprehensive computational studies provided valuable mechanistic insights and shed more light on activity differences.