Solar fixation

Solar-powered sequestration of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere might be one way to help us ameliorate rising atmospheric concentrations of this greenhouse gas as well providing a way to use the carbon locked up in the gas as a chemical feedstock alternative to oil-derived compounds. Masahiro Murakami at Kyoto University and colleagues have found that UV or sunlight can convert alpha-methylaminoketone into an activated species capable of undergoing an intramolecular rearrangement with a ring closure to generate an intermediate that can absorb a carbon dioxide molecule to produce a cyclic amino-substituted carbonic acid diester. Such a compound could be used as a starting material in organic synthesis.