Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:

Sustainable chemistry

Putting carbon dioxide to work


Carbon dioxide is an abundant resource, but difficult for industry to use effectively. A simple reaction might allow it to be used to make commercial products more sustainably than with current processes. See Letter p.215

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Synthetic routes to polyethylene furandicarboxylate (PEF).


  1. See all news & views


  1. Banerjee, A., Dick, G. R., Yoshino, T. & Kanan, M. W. Nature 531, 215–219 (2016).

    Article  CAS  ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. Mavrovic, I., Shirley, A. R. & Coleman, G. R. in Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology (Wiley, 2010).

    Google Scholar 

  3. Buysch, H.-J. in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 6th edn, 427–455 (Wiley, 2003).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Coates, G. W. & Moore, D. R. Angew. Chem. Int. Edn 43, 6618–6639 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Haider, K. W., McDaniel, K. G., Hayes, J. E. & Shen, J. US Patent 7,977,501 (2011).

  6. Eerhart, A. J. J. E., Faaij, A. P. C. & Patel, M. K. Energy Environ. Sci. 5, 6407–6422 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Bare, J. C. J. Ind. Ecol. 6, 49–78 (2002).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Raecke, B., Stein, W. & Schirp, H. US Patent 2,794,830 (1957).

  9. Sheldon, R. A. Green Chem. 16, 950–963 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Eric J. Beckman.

Related links

Related links

Related links in Nature Research

Organic chemistry: Streamlining drug synthesis

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Beckman, E. Putting carbon dioxide to work. Nature 531, 180–181 (2016).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing