Converting CO2 with various epoxides to cyclic carbonates is extremely
important. However, most of catalysts for such conversion either require
complicated fabrication or are obtained from unsustainable sources.
Motivated by this problem, we prepare biomass-based “all-in-one”
carbon dots as nano-organocatalysts for firstly converting CO2 to cyclic
carbonates. In this work, carbon dots (CD@KI) with high catalytic
performance and good recyclability are prepared from sodium phytate
(SP), polyethylenimine (PEI) and KI using one-pot hydrothermal treatment
featuring cheap precursors and simple operation. Assisted by highly
catalytic activity of CD@KI, up to 99.5% yield is achieved for
converting CO2 and various epoxides to cyclic carbonates under mild
conditions (solvent-free and 1 atm of CO2). Moreover, the conversion
yield is maintained for reactions up to ten grams in scale.
Significantly, by taking advantage of the inherent luminescence of
CD@KI, the as-formed cyclic carbonates catalyzed by CD@KI can be
directly converted to afterglow polymer composites.