Research project at Debrecen


aqueous organometallic catalysis:

The use of carbon dioxide as c1 building block


In this program, the group will mainly develop the following project:


Carbon dioxide is an abundant greenhouse gas which could be an important C1 building block provided its catalytic fixation into larger organic molecules could be widely realized in synthetic systems. However, in most cases, hydrogenation of CO2 provides formic acid or its salts, although examples of hydroformylation of olefins, formylation of N-heterocycles and formation of lactones in the reaction of dienes with CO2/H2 mixtures are known. Based on our experience on CO2 hydrogenation with Rh- and Ru-phosphine-type catalysts we wish to catalyze the incorporation of carbon dioxide into olefins in aqueous solutions or in aqueous-organic biphasic systems. An integrated part of the project involves the synthesis of new water-soluble transition metal complexes, their structural characterization (IR, NMR, MS, single crystal X-Ray, etc.) and the determination of their acid-base properties by pH-potentiometry. In this research we also plan to study catalysts formed by the new hydrosoluble ligands developed by our partners. Experience in inorganic/organometallic synthesis and/or catalysis is desirable.



1.             F. Joó, J. Kovács, A.Cs. Bényei, L. Nádasdi, G. Laurenczy: The effect of  pH on the reactions of catalytically important Rh(I) complexes in aqueous solution: Reaction of [RhCl(TPPMS)3] and trans-[RhCl(CO)(TPPMS)2] with Hydrogen (TPPMS=mono-sulfonated triphenylphosphine), Chem. Eur. J. 2001, 7, 193-199.

2.             G. Laurenczy, F. Joó, L. Nádasdi: Formation and Characterization  of  Water - Soluble Hydrido-Ruthenium(II) Complexes of  1,3,5-Triaza-7-phosphaadamantane and their Catalytic Activity in Hydrogenation of CO2 and HCO3- in Aqueous Solutions, Inorg. Chem. 2000, 39, 5083-5088.

3.             J. Elek, L. Nádasdi, G. Papp, G. Laurenczy, F. Joó: Homogeneous hydrogenation of carbon dioxide and bicarbonate in aqueous solution catalyzed by water-soluble ruthenium(II) phosphine complexes, Appl. Catal. A.: General  2003, 255, 59-67.

4.                            G. Kovács, L. Nádasdi, G. Laurenczy, F. Joó: Aqueous organometallic catalysis. Isotope exchange reactions in H2-D2O and D2-H2O systems catalyzed by water-soluble Rh- and Ru-phosphine complexes, Green Chem. 2003, 5, 213-217.        



Cost of living in Debrecen

      The local currency is Hungarian Forint (HUF); 1 euro equals approximately 260 HUF

      (rate of early February, 2004; please check the actual rate).

·         Accommodation:
- self contained furnished flat, average 60000 HUF/month excl. bills
- furnished room in a shared flat, from 3 to 4 people, range 15000-20000 HUF/month excl. bills depending on area.
Several hostels allow temporary accommodation
Other living expenses
Around 85000 HUF/month.




Prof. Ferenc Joó and Dr. Ágnes Kathó

Institute of Physical Chemistry, University of Debrecen

1, Egyetem tér, Debrecen, Hungary

mail:     Debrecen 10, P.O.Box 7, H-4010 Hungary

phone :+36 52 512900, ext. 2382 (F.J.) or ext. 2383 (Á.K.)

fax:     +36 52 512915

e-mail: /