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Inorg Chem. 2008 Oct 6;47(19):8995-9001. doi: 10.1021/ic801014f. Epub 2008 Aug 30.

Nanoscale Ru(0) particles: arene hydrogenation catalysts in imidazolium ionic liquids.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Catalysis, Institute of Chemistry, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Bento Gonçalves 9500, Porto Alegre, CEP 91501-970, RS, Brazil.


The reduction of [Ru(COD)(2-methylallyl) 2] (COD = 1,5-cyclooctadiene) dispersed in various room-temperature ionic liquids (ILs), namely, 1- n-butyl-3-methylimidazolium (BMI) and 1- n-decyl-3-methylimidazolium (DMI), associated with the N-bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imidates (NTf 2) and the corresponding tetrafluoroborates (BF 4) with hydrogen gas (4 bar) at 50 degrees C leads to well-dispersed immobilized nanoparticles. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis of the particles dispersed in the ionic liquid shows the presence of [Ru(0)] n nanoparticles (Ru-NPs) of 2.1-3.5 nm in diameter. Nanoparticles with a smaller mean diameter were obtained in the ILs containing the less coordinating anion (NTf 2) than that in the tetrafluoroborate analogues. The ruthenium nanoparticles in ionic liquids were used for liquid-liquid biphasic hydrogenation of arenes under mild reaction conditions (50-90 degrees C and 4 bar). The apparent activation energy of E A = 42.0 kJ mol (-1) was estimated for the hydrogenation of toluene in the biphasic liquid-liquid system with Ru-NPs/BMI.NTf 2. TEM analysis of the ionic liquid material after the hydrogenation reactions shows no significant agglomeration of the [Ru(0)] n nanoparticles. The catalyst ionic liquid phase can be reused several times without a significant loss in catalytic activity.

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