Donald J. Darensbourg

Distinguished Professor - Chemistry

Contact Information

Phone: (979) 845-5417

Fax: (979) 845-0158


Departmental Page


  • 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


  • Kinetics of the (salen)Cr(III)- and (salen)Co(III)-Catalyzed Copolymerization of Epoxides with CO2, and of the Accompanying Degradation Reactions. Darensbourg, D. J.; Yeung, A. Y. Polym. Chem. 2015, 6, 1103 -1117.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Mechanistic Studies of the Copolymerization Reaction of Oxetane and Carbon Dioxide to Provide Aliphatic Polycarbonates Catalyzed by (Salen)CrX Complexes, Donald J. Darensbourg, Adriana I. Moncada, Wonsook Choi, and Joseph H. Reibenspies J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 6523-6533.
  • Making Plastics from Carbon Dioxide. Salen Metal Complexes as Catalysts for the Production of Polycarbonates from Epoxides and CO2, Donald J. Darensbourg, Chemical Reviews, 2007, 107, 2388-2410.
  • Mechanistic Studies of the Copolymerization Reaction of Aziridines and Carbon Monoxide to Produce Poly-β-peptoids, Donald J. Darensbourg, Andrea L. Phelps, Nathalie Le Gall, and Li Jia, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 13808-13815
  • Comparative Kinetic Studies of the Copolymerization of Cyclohexene Oxide and Propylene Oxide with Carbon Dioxide in the Presence of Chromium Salen Derivatives. In situ FTIR Measurements of Copolymer vs Cyclic Carbonate Production, D. J. Darensbourg, J. C. Yarbrough, C. G. Ortiz, C. Fang J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2003, 125, 7586- 7591.
  • Mechanistic Aspects of the Copolymerization Reaction of Carbon Dioxide and Epoxides using a Chiral Salen Chromium Chloride Catalyst, D. J. Darensbourg, J. C. Yarbrough, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2002, 124, 6335-6342.
  • The Catalytic Activity of a Series of Zn(II) Phenoxides for the Copolymerization of Epoxides and Carbon Dioxide, D. J. Darensbourg, M. W. Holtcamp, G. E. Struck, M. S. Zimmer, S. A. Niezgoda, P. Rainey, J. B. Robertson, J. D. Draper, J. H. Reibenspies, J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 1999, 121, 107-116.
  • The Catalytic Activity of Zn(II) Phenoxides Which Possess Readily Accessible Coordination Sites. The Copolymerization and Terpolymerization of Epoxides and Carbon Dioxide, D. J. Darensbourg, and M. W. Holtcamp, Macromolecules, 1995, 28, 7577-7579.
  • The Activation Carbon Dioxide by Metal Complexes, D. J. Darensbourg and R. Kudaroski, Advances in Organomet. Chem., 1983, 22, 129-168.