Taming methane and other volatile alkanes

Jaime A. Flores, Vincent N. Cavaliere, Dominik Buck, George Chen, Balazs Pinter, Maren Pink, Chun Hsing Chen, Mu Hyun Baik, Daniel J. Mindiola

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Methane is the most abundant but least reactive of the family of alkanes, and current vast supplies constitute nearly 70-90% of the natural gas reserves in the world, a value which now heavily competes with imminent dwindling of petroleum feedstock. Therefore, the intrinsic energy stored in the C-H bonds of methane (a potent greenhouse gas itself), via controlled activation and functionalization processes, represents a quintessential challenge because of the low binding affinity and unfavorable physical properties of this volatile hydrocarbon, especially in the context of usage and transport. In this work we demonstrate that a transient titanium alkylidyne, (PNP)Ti≡CtBu (PNP- = N[2-P(CHMe2)2-4-methylphenyl]2), can activate at room temperature, the C-H bond of methane. We also demonstrate that methane can be dehydrogenated to a methylidene (Ti=CH2 ligand type). By analogy, other alkanes such as ethane and linear alkanes, can be dehydrogenated to their corresponding olefin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event241st ACS National Meeting and Exposition - Anaheim, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 27 2011Mar 31 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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