Advantages in Using Inexpensive CO2 to Favor Photocatalytic Oxidation of Benzylamines

Yevheniia Markushyna, Paolo Lamagni, Jacopo Catalano, Nina Lock, Guigang Zhang, Markus Antonietti, Aleksandr Savateev*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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In this work, we investigate using carbon dioxide (CO2) as an inexpensive reaction medium during the photocatalytic oxidative coupling of primary amines to the corresponding imines. As a model system, we study the reaction of benzylamines in acetonitrile over a potassium poly(heptazine imide) photocatalyst (K-PHI). We use CO2 or argon (Ar) to saturate the reaction solution and the reactor headspace, and blue light (461 nm) to drive the reaction. When compared to the more expensive Ar, CO2 boosts the conversion rate by creating a reaction intermediate with better electron donor properties. We also validate the influence of water content on the imine formation efficiency, and we observe higher catalytic activity of K-PHI, compared to a standard mesoporous graphitic carbon nitride (mpg-CN).

Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Catalysis
Pages (from-to)7336-7342
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • benzylamine
  • carbon nitride
  • cheap
  • CO
  • K-PHI
  • oxidative coupling
  • photocatalysis
  • visible light


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