A total of 44 different phosphines were tested, in combination with [RuCl2(C6H6)]2 and three other Ru(II) precursors, for their ability to form active catalysts for the hydrogenation of C02 to formic acid. Half (22) of the ligands formed catalysts of significant activity, and only 6 resulted in very high rates of production of formic acid. These were PMe3, PPhMe2, dppm, dppe, and cis- and trans-Ph2PCH=CHPPh2. The in situ catalysts prepared from [RuCl2-(C6H6)]2 and any of these 6 phosphine ligands were found to be at least as efficient as the isolated catalyst RuCl(O2CMe)(PMe3)4. There was no correlation between the basicity of monophosphines (PR3) and the activity of the catalysts formed from them. However, weakly basic diphosphines formed highly active catalysts only if their bite angles were small, while more strongly basic diphosphines had the opposite trend. In situ 31p NMR spectroscopy showed that trans-Ru(H)2(dppm)2, trans-RuCl2(dppm)2, trans-RuHCl(dppm)2, cis-Ru(H)(O2CH)(dppm)2, and cis-Ru-(O2CH)2(dppm)2 are produced as the major metal-containing species in reactions of dppm with [RuCl2(C6H6)]2 under catalytic conditions at 50°C.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Inorganic Chemistry