Catalysis plays a major role in the production of food, pharmaceuticals and energy. We have been working in the area of green homogeneous catalysis using pincer complexes of transition-metals. We have developed several interesting methods that are environmentally-benign and sustainable for the production of industrially useful chemicals from the cheap and inexpensive starting materials using pincer complexes of earth-abundant metals such as manganese. These methods are based on hydrogenation or dehydrogenation reactions which makes the overall process highly atom-economic. Utilization of manganese in place of precious metals such as ruthenium makes the overall process cheaper and more sustainable. Some of these examples will be discussed in the lecture, such as:
1. We reported the first example of the direct synthesis of amides by the dehydrogenative coupling of amines with either alcohols or esters using an earth-abundant metal catalyst.
2. We reported the first example of the direct hydrogenation of organic carbonates to methanol using an earth-abundant metal catalyst. As organic carbonates can be readily prepared from CO2 and alcohols, this method can be utilized as an alternative route for the conversion of low-pressure CO2 to methanol.
3. We discovered a fundamentally new Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) based on coupling of diols and diamines for the development of a reversible hydrogen storage material.
1. (a) A. Kumar, N. A. E. Jalapa, G. Leitus, Y. Diskin Posner and D. Milstein, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2017, 56, 14992. (b) N. A. E. Jalapa, A. Kumar, G. Leitus, Y. Diskin Posner and D. Milstein, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017,139, 11722.
2. A. Kumar, T. Janes, N. A. E. Jalapa, D. Milstein, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2018, 57, 12076.
3. A. Kumar, T. Janes, N. A. E. Jalapa, D. Milstein, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2018, 140, 7453.