Polymers (Basel). 2022 Jun 29;14(13):2658. doi: 10.3390/polym14132658.
The development of efficient and metal-free heterogeneous catalysts for the chemical fixation of CO2 into value-added products is still a challenge. Herein, we reported two kinds of polar group (-COOH, -OH)-functionalized porous ionic polymers (PIPs) that were constructed from the corresponding phosphonium salt monomers (v-PBC and v-PBH) using a solvothermal radical polymerization method. The resulting PIPs (POP-PBC and POP-PBH) can be used as efficient bifunctional heterogeneous catalysts in the cycloaddition reaction of CO2 with epoxides under relatively low temperature, ambient pressure, and metal-free conditions without any additives. It was found that the catalytic activities of the POP-PBC and POP-PBH were comparable with the homogeneous catalysts of Me-PBC and PBH and were higher than that of the POP-PPh3-COOH that was synthesized through a post-modification method, indicating the importance of the high concentration catalytic active sites in the heterogeneous catalysts. Reaction under low CO2 concentration conditions showed that the activity of the POP-PBC (with a conversion of 53.8% and a selectivity of 99.0%) was higher than that of the POP-PBH (with a conversion of 32.3% and a selectivity of 99.0%), verifying the promoting effect of the polar group (-COOH group) in the porous framework. The POP-PBC can also be recycled at least five times without a significant loss of catalytic activity, indicating the high stability and robustness of the PIPs-based heterogeneous catalysts.