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The Use of Phthalocyanine for Environmental Safety


The Synthesis, Investigation, and Application of New Phthalocyanine Complexes as Highly Efficient Catalysts in the Conversion of Ecologically Harmful Gaseous Oxides into Useful Monomeric and Polymeric Materials

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-APC/Air Pollution and Control/Environment
  • CHE-SYN/Basic and Synthetic Chemistry/Chemistry

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Valentine M

Leading Institute
Institute of Physiologically Active Substances, Russia, Moscow reg., Chernogolovka

Supporting institutes

  • State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology, Russia, Moscow\nInstitute of Organic Chemistry, Russia, Moscow


  • University of Minnesota / Department of Chemistry, USA, MN, Duluth

Project summary

The aim of this Project is to perform extensive investigations in the field of synthesis and chemical transformations in molecules of planar and sandwich-like phthalocyanine complexes (depicted below) and to design the unique and ecologically safe methods for fixing of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur dioxides. Because of the ability of phthalocyanines and their structural analogs to form complexes with nearly all metals of the Periodic System of the Elements and unlimited possibilities of chemical modifications of macrocyclic molecules, it is worthwhile to focus the activity on the synthesis and elucidation of general laws in the formation of planar and sandwich-like complexes depending on the nature of central metal ion, substituting groups in macrocycles, and axial n- and p-donor ligands. These investigations with the use of electron, X-ray photoelectron, and ESR spectrometry will undoubtedly give important information on the structure and properties of all types of phthalocyanine complexes. Furthermore, our researches will enable to carry out the directed synthesis of highly efficient catalysts of harmful gaseous dioxides conversion into useful materials.

The present-day scales of environmental pollution by carbon dioxide become more threatening. Nowadays, in the result of combustion of carbon-containing fuels, CO2 is released into the atmosphere in so enormous amounts that can't be utilized by the Earth plant community. In view of rapidly increasing worldwide energy consumption and, therefore, environmental contamination by CO2 and other harmful gaseous oxides, the search and development of new effective methods to fix such gases is a currently central task for ecology safety.

This is why our investigations will mainly be directed to searching for new selective methods of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur dioxides fixing with the use of phthalocyanine metal complexes and their reduced forms. Authors of the Project have already dealt much with some of the problems, including the design of chemical sensors for CO2, other harmful gases (NO2, SО3, Cl2, Br2), and tobacco fume. Furthermore, the Project work may acquire a larger importance, when it will be possible to convert the fixed oxides into useful chemical products. There is reason to believe that one of promising approaches to long-term removal of excess carbon dioxide from turnover is its transformation into ecologically safe polymers (e.g. polycarbonates). Thus, preliminary studies of chemical and electrochemical methods of CO2 binding have demonstrated the advantages and promise of these approaches on the example of carbon dioxide conversion into alkylene carbonates. Therefore, searching for the methods of initial monomers (e.g. alkylene carbonates) synthesis from CO2 with their subsequent transformation into polymers is of particular importance.

Studies on the photochemical carbon dioxide reduction with the use as catalysts of phthalocyanine complexes, synthesized by us, will be fundamental for further designs of facilities working on the same principle as green plants (i.e. transforming CO2 into O2), but with several orders higher efficacy.

Following are the planned Project activities:

1. Directed synthesis and studies of the structure of functionally substituted planar and sandwich-like phthalocyanine complexes possessing the catalytic activity in reactions of ecologically harmful gaseous oxides conversion into useful materials.
2. Fundamental studies on the catalytic reactions of CO2 fixing with the use of chemical, electrochemical, and photochemical methods. Determination of the reaction mechanisms.
3. Studies on the catalytic reactions of fixing toxic oxides (NO, NO2, SO2, SO3) and acid vapors (CF3COOH, HNO3, HC1, HF, etc.). Determination of the reaction mechanisms.
4. Design of highly efficient chemical sensors based on porous polymeric and glasslike materials activated by different phthalocyanines or their analogs to be used for monitoring the level of toxic oxides (NO, NO2, SO2, SO3) and acid vapors (CF3COOH, HNO3, HC1, HF, etc.) in houses and production areas.
5. Development of the technology of CO2 conversion into safe and useful products. Investigations of heterogeneously catalytic reactions in CO2 atmosphere under supercritical conditions.
6. Search for new areas of using synthesized phthalocyanine complexes and their analogs, having unique optical properties and high chemical and thermal resistance. A special attention will be paid to an application of the aminosubstituted electropolymerized films of dysprosium, erbium, and ytterbium phthalocyanines, which were produced by us for the first time, for the design of effective ion-selective electrodes to be used in drinking water quality control.

All the Project tasks are well substantiated by theoretical and experimental results and feasible for implementation with financial support of our investigations. Since 1975, the Project participants have gained progress in studies of macrocyclic metal-containing compounds, mainly phthalocyanines and bisphthalocyanines.

The facilities and equipment are available for continuous processes to execute under various conditions, including supercritical ones (at P up to 400 atm., Т up to 400 °C), and we shall be able to carry out the scheduled experiments and to propose new technologies on continuous conversion of harmful gases into safe and useful products by the end of Project.


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