Bis-N-heterocyclic carbene aminopincer ligands enable high activity in Ru-catalyzed ester hydrogenation

G. Filonenko, M.J.B. Aguila, E.N. Schulpen, R. Putten, van, J. Wiecko, C. Muller, L. Lefort, E.J.M. Hensen, E.A. Pidko

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Bis-N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) aminopincer ligands were for the first time successfully applied in catalytic hydrogenation of esters. We have isolated and characterized a well-defined catalyst precursor as a dimeric [Ru2(L)2Cl3]PF6 complex and studied its reactivity and catalytic performance. Remarkable initial activities up to 283 000 h-1 were achieved in hydrogenation of ethyl hexanoate at only 12.5 ppm Ru loading. A wide range of aliphatic and aromatic esters can be converted with this catalyst to corresponding alcohols in near quan-titative yields. The described synthetic protocol makes use of air stable reagents available in multigram quantities rendering the bis-NHC ligands an attractive alternative to the conventional phosphine-based systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7620-7623
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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