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K-State Today

Division of Communications and Marketing
Kansas State University
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April 29, 2024

Wesley Bernskoetter to present Chemistry Seminar

Submitted by Patricia Calvo

Speaker headshot

Wesley Bernskoetter, professor of chemistry at the University of Missouri, will be the speaker for this week's Chemistry Seminar. Bernskoetter will present "Valorizing carbon dioxide value via C-C bond forming reactions" at 1:05 p.m. Thursday, May 2, in Room 4 of King Hall.

Abstract: Two strategies for reducing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere are sequestration, where carbon dioxide is captured and stored either by chemical/biochemical conversion or by injection into underground geological formations, and chemical utilization, where CO2 is used as a C1 source in the synthesis of fuels or commodity chemicals. While the synthesis of commodity chemicals from CO2 cannot match the scale required to significantly impact the effects of anthropogenic CO2 emission, it can create intrinsic economic value from CO2 waste. In this presentation, Bernskoetter will discuss recent efforts to develop iron and ruthenium complexes which couple CO2 with light olefins to create valuable organic carboxylates. These will include a discussion of the organometallic catalytic intermediates, mechanistic obstacles to catalyst development and our latest experimental advances.

Bernskoetter received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Benedictine College in Atchison in 2002 and a doctorate in chemistry from Cornell University in 2006. Bernskoetter began his postgraduate research work as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where he worked with Professor Maurice Brookhart where he studied carbon-hydrogen bond activation. In 2009 he began his academic career at Brown University, where he became the Manning assistant professor of chemistry in 2012. In 2015, he returned to his home state and the University of Missouri.