With petroleum supplies dwindling, there is increasing interest in selective methods for transforming other carbon feedstocks into hydrocarbons suitable for transportation fuel. We report the development of highly productive, well-defined, tandem catalytic systems for the metathesis of n-alkanes. Each system comprises one molecular catalyst (a "pincer"- ligated indium complex) that effects alkane dehydrogenation and olefin hydrogenation, plus a second catalyst (molecular or solid-phase) for olefin metathesis. The systems all show complete selectivity for linear (n-alkane) product. We report one example that achieves selectivity with respect to the distribution of product molecular weights, in which n-decane is the predominant high-molecular-weight product of the metathesis of two moles of n-hexane.
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