Catalytic hydrogen transfer (CTH) reactions have been around for a while and provide an alternative to traditional hydrogenation, where H2 gas is applied under high pressure. Hydrogen donors include alcohols or formate salts while acceptors are unsaturated organic compounds, ketones, olefins and nitroaromatics among others. Ruthenium complexes are some of the most active homogeneous catalysts for CTH and a wide range have been developed over the last 40 years.
This Hot Article from Judith Toubiana and Yoel Sasson (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) details their investigation into the mechanism of CTH between alcohols and ketones using RuCl2(PPh3)3, the pair have made a remarkable discovery regarding the actual active species in the reaction……and it isn’t the ruthenium complex.
As all Catalysis Science & Technology articles are free to access for the duration of 2012 you can download the paper now to find out what has been discovered and how.
The true catalyst in hydrogen transfer reactions with alcohol donors in the presence of RuCl2(PPh3)3 is ruthenium(0) nanoparticles
Judith Toubiana and Yoel Sasson
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2012, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C2CY00514J, Paper