A process is provided for catalyzing an organic reaction to form a reaction product by placing reactants and a catalyst for the organic reaction, the catalyst of a metal complex and at least one ligand soluble within one of the phases of said aqueous biphasic system, within an aqueous biphasic system including a water phase, a dense phase fluid, and a surfactant adapted for forming an emulsion or microemulsion within the aqueous biphasic system, the reactants soluble within one of the phases of the aqueous biphasic system and convertible in the presence of the catalyst to a product having low solubility in the phase in which the catalyst is soluble; and, maintaining the aqueous biphasic system under pressures, at temperatures, and for a period of time sufficient for the organic reaction to occur and form the reaction product and to maintain sufficient density on the dense phase fluid, the reaction product characterized as having low solubility in the phase in which the catalyst is soluble.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to catalysis in water/dense phase fluid systems, e.g., water/carbon dioxide systems. This invention was made with government support under Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.