Cobalt Catalyst for Green Alcohol Dehydrogenation

Cobalt Catalyst for Green Alcohol Dehydrogenation

Author: Chemistry – An Asian Journal

Metal-catalyzed reactions could be made “greener” and more sustainable by replacing expensive noble metals such as iridium, ruthenium, palladium, and rhodium with earth-abundant, environmentally friendly, first-row transition metals such as iron, cobalt, nickel, and manganese.

Basker Sundararaju, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and colleagues have developed a well-defined, air- and moisture-stable Cp*Co(III) complex (pictured) for the efficient dehydrogenation of secondary alcohols into carbonyl compounds and for dehydrative ether synthesis under mild conditions. The dehydrogenations were performed using 1 mol% of the Cp*Co(III) catalyst at 80 °C for 24 h and gave the desired products in moderate to good yields.

The reaction tolerates a wide range of substrates, including both aliphatic and aromatic secondary alcohols. According to the researchers, the reaction proceeds via a hydrogen-atom transfer process mediated by the high-valent cobalt species. The developed Cp*Co(III)-based complex could also be useful for other reactions that involve a hydrogen-borrowing strategy.


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