Deanna Miller is a graduate student studying chemistry at the the University of Minnesota. She attended the E3 2010 Conference in St. Paul, MN, and presented her work on strategies for carbon dioxide reduction. ChEnected interviewed her about her research in the video located in the panel to the right.
Fossil fuel depletion and increasing costs have driven scientists to seek alternative energy sources. One possible target is the use of methanol as a liquid fuel; however, current methanol production is too costly to be practical. Many scientists have looked to the reduction of carbon dioxide, an abundant and nontoxic one-carbon supply, as a renewable source for methanol production. One challenge of reducing carbon dioxide to methanol is the occurrence of bimolecular reactions to form undesirable products. Once formed, these products are difficult to convert to methanol. Our research focuses on the synthesis of novel "cage" ligands developed to prevent these unwanted products. Multidentate cage ligands have been synthesized and reacted with various transition metals. The resulting complexes will be investigated for carbon dioxide reduction.