Hydrogenation of N-heterocycles is of great significance for their wide range of applications such as building blocks in drug and agrochemical syntheses and liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHCs). Pursuing a better hydrogenation performance and stereoselectivity, we successfully developed a rare earth hydride supported ruthenium catalyst Ru/YH3 for the hydrogenation of N-heterocycles, especially N-ethylcarbazole (NEC), the most promising LOHC. Full hydrogenation of NEC on Ru/YH3 can be achieved at 363 K and 1 MPa hydrogen pressure, which is currently the lowest compared to previous reported catalysts. Furthermore, Ru/YH3 shows the highest turnover number, namely the highest catalytic activity among the existing catalysts for hydrogenation of NEC. Most importantly, Ru/YH3 shows remarkable stereoselectivity for all-cis products, which is very favorable for the subsequent dehydrogenation. The excellent performance of Ru/YH3 originates from the new hydrogen transfer path from H2 to NEC via YH3. Ru/LaH3 and Ru/GdH3 also reveal good activity for hydrogenation of NEC and Ru/YH3 also possesses good activity for hydrogenation of 2-methylindole, indicating that the use of rare earth hydride supported catalysts is a highly effective strategy for developing better hydrogenation catalysts for N-heterocycles.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes