Single-site ruthenium pincer complex knitted in porous organic polymers for green dehydrogenation of formic acid in aqueous medium

Kuo-Wei Huang, Xinbo Wang, Eleanor Pei Ling Ang, Chao Guan, Qinggang Zhang, Wenting Wu, Pengxin Liu, Nanfeng Zheng, Daliang Zhang, Sergei Lopatin, Zhiping Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Owing to its capacity for reversible hydrogen storage, formic acid (FA) holds great promise as an energy carrier alternative to conventional fossil fuels systems. While the decomposition of FA to hydrogen (H2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) through homogeneous catalysis has been well-established, the selective and efficient dehydrogenation of FA by a robust heterogeneous catalyst remains a challenge. Herein, a novel heterogeneous ruthenium-pincer framework with single-atomic sites was prepared in one step by the direct knitting of a phosphorous-nitrogen PN3P-pincer ruthenium complex in a porous organic polymer. The heterogeneous ruthenium complex efficiently dehydrogenates formic acid in both organic and aqueous media with remarkably enhanced stability. Notably, no detectible CO was generated and a turnover number of 145,300 was attained in a continuous experiment with no significant decline in catalytic reactivity (in sharp contrast, total TON of only 5,600 was obtained with the homogeneous analog under the same conditions). The single-atomic sites in the porous framework allowed the combination of the desirable attributes of high reactivity and selectivity of a homogeneous catalyst with the significantly enhanced catalyst stability and reusability benefits of heterogeneous catalysis.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3591-3598
Number of pages8
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 9 2018

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We gratefully acknowledge the financial support from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology; Competitive Research Grant (URF/1/1378) and Baseline Funding, and from Chinese NSFC (51672309) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (18CX07009A).


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