The Global Warming Scare provides a bonanza for various trades & industries, chemistry one of them. Chemists all over the world busy themselves with a wide range of topics such as new battery design, solar cells, carbon sequestration and notably carbon dioxide recycling. The latest initiative originates from Das Neves Gomes et al. of a French organisation curiously called CEA, IRAMIS, SIS2M, CNRS UMR 3299 (DOI). They step away from systems using hydrogen as CO2 reducing agent because that inevitably introduces a metal catalyst, see for example one described here. Instead they opt for phenylsilane as hydrogen source because now they can replace the metal with an organocatalyst such as 1,5,7-Triazabicyclo(4.4.0)dec-5-ene.
In one model system carbon dioxide is reduced with 0.05 equivalent of the base, 1 equivalent of another base such as morpholine, 1 equivalent of phenylsilane at 100°C (no solvent) and 100% yield. the reaction products are N-formyl-morpholine and phenylsilane that will eventually wind up as a silsesquioxane.