The 16 electron ruthenium complexes [(η6-1-isopropyl-4-methyl-benzene)(X-N)Ru(II)], where X-N is 2-amido-1-ethoxide (2), 1-N-p-tosyl-1,2-diamido-ethane (3), 1-N-p-tosyl-1,2-diamido-benzene (7), 1-N-(p-tosyl)-1,2-diamido-1,1,2,2-tetramethyl-ethane (8) and 1-N-(p-tosyl)-1,2-diamido-meso-1,2-diphenyl-ethane (9) have been evaluated as catalysts for the transfer dehydrogenation of secondary alcohols to ketones in acetone and/or cyclohexanone solvent. Complexes 2 and 3 cannot be isolated and decompose under these conditions. In contrast complexes 7, 8 and 9 are supported by ligands designed to resist β-hydride elimination and can with the exclusion of oxygen be held in solution for weeks. Complex 7 is not active as a catalyst. Complexes 8 and 9 are highly air-sensitive and active as catalysts for transfer (de)hydrogenations under oxidizing and reducing conditions, respectively. There is no coordinative inhibition of the catalysts by the ketone solvent under oxidizing conditions, but both catalysts show a correlation between the reaction rates and the ΔG values of the reactions with reactions leading to α, β-unsaturated ketones proceeding faster. For all alcohol/ketone substrate pairs where the ketone is not α, β-unsaturated, the hydrogenation reactions under reducing conditions (iso-propanol solvent) are at least one order of magnitude faster than the corresponding dehydrogenation reaction under oxidizing conditions (acetone solvent).
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding for this research project was provided by University of Guelph, the Canadian Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI). M.B. would like to thank the Ernst Schering Research Foundation, Berlin, Germany for a doctoral stipend.
Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Alcohol oxidation
- Ruthenium complexes
- Transfer hydrogenation