Developing Heterobimetallic Hydrides for Selective Hydrogenation Catalysis

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Chemistry


Here we propose to screen the array of heterobimetallic complexes available in the group for the semi-hydrogenation of alkynes to form alkenes. Catalysts will be sought that are both chemo- and stereoselectivity. Initially low pressures (1 - 5 atm.) will be investigate but there is the potential to raise to modest pressures (10 - 50 atm.) should the low pressure work not provide a desirable reaction rate.

Following identification of a lead catalyst, detailed studies will be undertaken to understand the mechanism of action, including the origin of selectivity and any role of metal---metal cooperation. These studies will build on the deep understanding of the electronic structure of the ground states of the bimetallic complexes and will rely on the isolation of reaction intermediates, kinetic analysis and computational chemistry. Using the understanding, the catalyst structure will be tuned and both selectivity and activity optimised. Further (or backup) studies include investigating the identified bimetallic catalysts for the chemoselective hydrogenation of benzylic ketones, benzylic alcohols, amides, esters and heteroaromatics.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R512540/1 01/10/2017 31/03/2022
2033091 Studentship EP/R512540/1 01/10/2017 30/12/2021 Gregory Baker
Description A novel catalyst has been developed towards selective hydrogenation of organic substrates.
Exploitation Route Early indications are that this work could be relevant to the pharmaceutical and chemical synthesis industries.
Sectors Chemicals,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology