Donald J. Darensbourg



  • Ph.D. 1968, Inorganic Chemistry, University of Illinois
  • M.S.E., Chemical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
  • B.S. 1964, Chemistry, California State University at Los Angeles

Research Interests

    Organometallic/Inorganic Chemistry of transition/main group metals, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis(including polymerization and biphasic processes), and applications of infrared spectroscopy.


  • 2010 - Present
  • Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Texas A&M University
  • 1982 - 2010
  • Professor of Chemistry, Texas A&M University
  • 1973 - 1982
  • Assistant-Full Professor of Chemistry, Tulane University
  • 1969 - 1973
  • Assistant Professor of Chemistry, State University of New York at Buffalo
  • 1964 - 1968
  • Teaching/Research Assistant in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois
  • 1967
  • NIH Fellowship recipient


  • Personal Adventures in the Synthesis of Copolymers from Carbon Dioxide and Cyclic Ethers. Darensbourg, D. J., contribution in Advances in Inorganic Chemistry Volume 66: CO2 Chemistry, Eds. Rudi van Eldik and Michele Aresta, Elsevier Inc., Burlington: Academic Press, 2013, in press.
  • Catalytic Coupling of Cyclopentene Oxide and CO2 Utilizing Bifunctional (salen)Co(III) and (salen)Cr(III) Catalysts. Comparative Processes Involving Binary (salen)Cr(III) Analogs. Darensbourg, D. J.; Chung, W.-C.; Wilson, S. J. ACS Catalysis 2013, in press.
  • Kinetics and Thermodynamics of the Decarboxylation of 1,2-Glycerol Carbonate to Produce Glycidol: Computational Insights. Darensbourg, D. J.; Yeung, A. D. Green Chem. 2013, ASAP.
  • Construction of an Ultrastable Porphyrin Zr Metal-Organic Framework through Linker Elimination. Feng, D.; Chung, W.-C.; Wei, Z.-W.; Gu, Z. Y.; Jiang, H. L.; Darensbourg, D. J.; Zhou, H.-C. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 17105-17110.
  • Light enhanced displacement of methylacrylate from iron carbonayl: Chemistry relevant to the oxidative coupling of ethylene and CO2. Muhammad, S.; Moncho, S.; Li, B.; Kyran, S.; Brothers, E.; Darensbourg, D. J.; Bengali, A. A. Inorg. Chem. 2013, 52, 12655–12660.
  • Oxygen/Sulfur Scrambling During the Copolymerization of Cyclopentene Oxide and Carbon Disulfide: Selectivity for Copolymer vs Cyclic [Thio]carbonates. Darensbourg, D. J.; Wilson, S. J.; Yeung, A. D. Macromolecules 2013, 46, 8102-8110.
  • A One-Pot Synthesis of a Triblock Copolymer from Propylene Oxide/Carbon Dioxide and Lactide: Intermediacy of Polyol Initiators. D. J. Darensbourg, G.-P. Wu, Angew. Chemie. 2013, 52, 10602–10606. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201304778
  • Synthesis of CO2-Derived Poly(indene carbonate) from Indene Oxide Utilizing Bifunctional Cobalt(III) Catalysts. D. J. Darensbourg, S. J. Wilson, Macromolecules 2013, 46 5929–5934. DOI: 10.1021/ma4013779
  • An Efficient Method of Depolymerization of Poly(cyclopentene carbonate) to Its Comonomers: Cyclopentene Oxide and Carbon Dioxide. D. J. Darensbourg, S.-H. Wei, A. D. Yeung, W. C. Ellis, Macromolecules 2013, 46 5850–5855. DOI: 10.1021/ma401286x
  • Kinetic and Thermodynamic Investigations of CO2 Insertion Reactions into Ru-CH3 and Ru-H Bonds. An Experimental and Computational Study. D. J. Darensbourg, S. J. Kyran, A. D. Yeung, A. A. Bengali, Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2013, ASAP. DOI: 10.1002/ejic.201300179
  • Carbon Monoxide Induced Reductive Elimination of Disulfide in an N-Heterocyclic Carbene (NHC)/Thiolate Dinitrosyl Iron Complex (DNIC), Randara Pulukkody , Samuel J. Kyran , Ryan D. Bethel , Chung-Hung Hsieh , Michael B. Hall , Donald J. Darensbourg, Marcetta Y. Darensbourg, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 8423–8430. DOI: 10.1021/ja403916v
  • Depolymerization of Poly(indene carbonate). A Unique Degradation Pathway, Donald J. Darensbourg, Sheng-Hsuan Wei, Stephanie J. Wilson, Macromolecules 2013, 46, 3228-3233. DOI: 10.1021/ma400441m
  • Acrylic Acid Derivatives of Group 8 Metal Carbonyls: A Structural and Kinetic Study, Bo Li, Samuel J. Kyran, Andrew D. Yeung, Ashfaq A. Bengali, and Donald J. Darensbourg, Inorg. Chem. 2013, 52, 5438–5447. DOI: 10.1021/ic4003737
  • Base initiated depolymerization of polycarbonates to epoxide and carbon dioxide co-monomers: a computational study, Donald J. Darensbourg, Andrew D. Yeung and Sheng-Hsuan Wei, Green Chem. 2013, 15, 1578-1583. DOI: 10.1039/c3gc40475g
  • Estimating the strength of the M—H—B interaction: a kinetic approach, Muhammad Sohail, Salvador Moncho, Edward N. Brothers, Donald J. Darensbourg and Ashfaq A. Bengali, Dalton Trans. 2013, 42, 6720–6723. DOI: 10.1039/C3DT50813G
  • Crystalline CO2 Copolymer from Epichlorohydrin via Co(III)-Complex-Mediated Stereospecific Polymerization, Guang-Peng Wu, Peng-Xiang Xu, Xiao-Bing Lu, Yu-Ping Zu, Sheng-Hsuan Wei, Wei-Min Ren, Donald J. Darensbourg, Macromolecules 2013, 46, 2128–2133. DOI: 10.1021/ma400252h
  • Relative Basicities of Cyclic Ethers and Esters. Chemistry of Importance to Ring-Opening Co- and Ter-polymerization Reactions, Donald J. Darensbourg, Wan-Chun Chung, Polyhedron, 2013, 58, 139–143. DOI: 10.1016/j.poly.2012.08.076
  • Thermodynamics of the Carbon Dioxide-Epoxide Copolymerization, and Kinetics of the Metal-free Degradation — A Computational Study, Donald J. Darensbourg, Andrew D. Yeung, Macromolecules 2013, 46, 83–95. DOI: 10.1021/ma3021823
  • Mechanism of CO Displacement from an Unusually Labile Rhenium Complex: An Experimental and Theoretical Investigation, Sohail Muhammad, Veeranna Yempally, Muhammad Anas, Salvador Moncho, Samuel J. Kyran, Edward N. Brothers, Donald J. Darensbourg, Ashfaq A. Bengali, Inorg. Chem., 2012, 51, 13041–13049. DOI: 10.1021/ic302182b
  • Tandem Metal-Coordination Copolymerization and Organocatalytic Ring-Opening Polymerization via Water To Synthesize Diblock Copolymers of Styrene Oxide/CO2 and Lactide, Guang-Peng Wu, Donald J. Darensbourg Xiao-Bing Lu, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2012, 134, 17739–17745. DOI: 10.1021/ja307976c
  • What's New with CO2? Recent Advances in its Copolymerization with Oxiranes, Donald J. Darensbourg, Stephanie J. Wilson, Green Chem. 2012, 14, 2665–2671. DOI: 10.1039/C2GC35928F
  • Formation of Cyclic Carbonates from Carbon Dioxide and Epoxides Coupling Reactions Efficiently Catalyzed by Robust, Recyclable One-Component Aluminum-Salen Complexes, Dawei Tian, Binyuan Liu, Quanying Gan, Huanrong Li, Donald. J. Darensbourg, ACS Catalysis 2012, 2, 2029–2035. DOI: 10.1021/cs300462r
  • Depolymerization of Polycarbonates Derived from Carbon Dioxide and Epoxides to Provide Cyclic Carbonates – A Kinetic Study, Donald J. Darensbourg, Sheng-Hsuan Wei, Macromolecules, 2012, 45, 5916-5922. DOI: 10.1021/ma301110c.
  • Time Resolved Infrared Spectroscopy. Kinetic Studies of Weakly Binding Ligands in an Iron-Iron Hydrogenase Model Compound, Sohail Muhammad, Salvador Moncho, Edward N. Brothers, Marcetta Y. Darensbourg, Donald J. Darensbourg, Ashfaq A. Bengali, Inorg. Chem. 2012, 51, 7362-7369.
  • Time-Resolved Infrared Spectroscopy Studies of Olefin Binding in Photogenerated CpRu(CO)X (X = Cl, I) Transients, Sohail Muhammad, Samuel J. Kyran, Rajesh K. Raju, Edward N. Brothers, Donald J. Darensbourg, Ashfaq A. Bengali, Organometallics 2012, 31, 3972-3979.
  • Photochemically Generated Transients from κ2- and κ3-Triphos Derivatives of Group 6 Metal Carbonyls and Their Reactivity with Olefins, Samuel J. Kyran, Sohail Muhammad, Matthew Knestrick, Ashfaq A. Bengali, Donald J. Darensbourg, Organometallics 2012, 31, 3163-3170.
  • Kinetic Studies of the Alternating Copolymerization of Cyclic Acid Anhydrides and Epoxides, and the Terpolymerization of Cyclic Acid Anhydrides, Epoxides, and CO2 Catalyzed by (salen)CrIIICl, Donald J. Darensbourg, Ross R. Poland, and Christina Escobedo, Macromolecules, 2012, 45, 2242−2248.
  • Cobalt Catalysts for the Coupling of CO2 and Epoxides To Provide Polycarbonates and Cyclic Carbonates, Xiao-Bing Lu, Donald J. Darensbourg , Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 1462 - 1484. DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15142H
  • (Salan)CrCl, An Effective Catalyst for the Co- and Ter-polymerizatin of Epoxides and Carbon Dioxide, D. J. Darensbourg, R. R. Poland, A. L. Strickland, J. Polym. Sci. Part A: Polym. Chem., 2012, 50, 127-133. DOI: 10.1002/pola.24996
  • Salen Metal Complexes as Catalysts for the Synthesis of Polycarbonates from Cyclic Ethers and Carbon Dioxide, D. J. Darensbourg contribution in Advances in Polymer Science, Eds. Geoffrey W. Coates and Bernhard Rieger, Springer-Publishers, 2012, 245, 1-28.
  • Alternating Copolymerization of CO2 and Styrene Oxide with Co(III)-Based Catalyst Systems: Differences Between Styrene Oxide and Propylene Oxide in Reactivity, Polymer Selectivity, and Regioselective Ring-Opening. G-P Wu, S-H Wei, W-M Ren, X-B Lu, B Li, Y-P Zu, D. J. Darensbourg, Energy & Environmental Sci.,2011, 4, 5084-5092. DOI: 10.1039/C1EE02566J
  • The Synthesis of Poly(indene carbonate) from Indene Oxide and Carbon Dioxide – A Polycarbonate with a Rigid Backbone, Donald J. Darensbourg, Stephanie J. Wilson, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 18610–18613. DOI: 10.1021/ja208711c
  • Perfectly Alternating Copolymerization of CO2 and Epichlorohydrin Using Cobalt(III)-based Catalyst Systems, Guang-Peng Wu, Sheng-Hsuan Wei, Wei-Min Ren, Xiao-Bing Lu, Tie-Qi Xu, Donald J. Darensbourg, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133, 15191-15199.
  • Ring-Opening Polymerization of Cyclic Esters and Trimethylene Carbonate Catalyzed by Aluminum Half-Salen Complexes, Donald J. Darensbourg, Osit Karroonnirun, Stephanie J. Wilson, Inorg. Chem., 2011, 50, 6775–6787.
  • Ligand Displacement from TpMn(CO)2L Complexes: A Large Rate Enhancement Compared to the Cp Analog, Bert H. G. Swennenhuis, Ross Poland, Nathan J. DeYonker, Charles Edwin Webster, Donald J. Darensbourg, Ashfaq A. Bengali, Organometallics 2011, 30, 3054–3063.
  • Book Review of Poly(Lactic Acid): Synthesis, Structures, Properties, Processing, and Applications, D. J. Darensbourg, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 7237.
  • Aliphatic Polycarbonates Produced from the Coupling of Carbon Dioxide and Oxetanes and Their Depolymerization via Cyclic Carbonate Formation, D. J. Darensbourg, Adriana I. Moncada, Sheng-Hsuan Wei, Macromolecules 2011, 44, 2568-2576.
  • 338. Ring-Opening Polymerization of Renewable Six-Membered Cyclic Carbonates. Monomer Synthesis and Catalysis, D. J. Darensbourg, Adriana I. Moncada, Stephanie J. Wilson, contribution in Green Polymerization Methods, Eds. Robert T. Mathers and Michael A. R. Meier, Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. Weinheim, 2011, 165-200.