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Mechanistic Insights into Ruthenium-Pincer-Catalyzed Amine-Assisted Homogeneous Hydrogenation of CO₂ to Methanol

Author:
Kar, Sayan, Sen, Raktim, Kothandaraman, Jotheeswari, Goeppert, Alain, Chowdhury, Ryan, Munoz, Socrates B., Haiges, Ralf, Prakash, G. K. Surya
Source:
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2019 v.141 no.7 pp. 3160-3170
ISSN:
1520-5126
Subject:
amines, carbon dioxide, catalysts, chemical structure, dissociation, formates, hydrogen, hydrogenation, methanol, ruthenium
Abstract:
Amine-assisted homogeneous hydrogenation of CO₂ to methanol is one of the most effective approaches to integrate CO₂ capture with its subsequent conversion to CH₃OH. The hydrogenation typically proceeds in two steps. In the first step the amine is formylated via an in situ formed alkylammonium formate salt (with consumption of 1 equiv of H₂). In the second step the generated formamide is further hydrogenated with 2 more equiv of H₂ to CH₃OH while regenerating the amine. In the present study, we investigated the effect of molecular structure of the ruthenium pincer catalysts and the amines that are critical for a high methanol yield. Surprisingly, despite the high reactivity of several Ru pincer complexes [RuHClPNPᴿ(CO)] (R = Ph/i-Pr/Cy/t-Bu) for both amine formylation and formamide hydrogenation, only catalyst Ru-Macho (R = Ph) provided a high methanol yield after both steps were performed simultaneously in one pot. Among various amines, only (di/poly)amines were effective in assisting Ru-Macho for methanol formation. A catalyst deactivation pathway was identified, involving the formation of ruthenium biscarbonyl monohydride cationic complexes [RuHPNPᴿ(CO)₂]⁺, whose structures were unambiguously characterized and whose reactivities were studied. These reactivities were found to be ligand-dependent, and a trend could be established. With Ru-Macho, the biscarbonyl species could be converted back to the active species through CO dissociation under the reaction conditions. The Ru-Macho biscarbonyl complex was therefore able to catalyze the hydrogenation of in situ formed formamides to methanol. Complex Ru-Macho-BH was also highly effective for this conversion and remained active even after 10 days of continuous reaction, achieving a maximum turnover number (TON) of 9900.
Agid:
6312947