Mechanistic Investigations of C–H Activations on Silica-Supported Co(ii) Sites in Catalytic Propane Dehydrogenation


  • Deven P. Estes ETH Zürich Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences Vladimir-Prelog-Weg 1–5, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland.



C–h activation, Surface organometallic chemistry (somc)


Catalytic reactions involving C–H bond activations are central to the chemical industry. One such example, alkane dehydrogenation, has recently become very important due to shortfalls in propene production and a large supply of cheap propane. However, current technologies are inefficient and have only moderate selectivity. In order to understand how to improve currently used catalysts, we must know more about the mechanism by which propane is dehydrogenated. We show here that Co(ii) sites on silica are good catalysts for the dehydrogenation of propane, having high activity and selectivity that is reasonably stable over the course of 10 h. Mechanistic investigations of this catalyst show that the main activation mechanism is most likely C–H activation by 1,2 addition.