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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)