Alkylrhenium oxides as homogeneous epoxidation catalysts: Activity, selectivity, stability, deactivation

Wolfgang A. Herrmann, Richard W. Fischer, Monika U. Rauch, Wolfgang Scherer

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266 Scopus citations


Methyltrioxorhenium(VII) (MTO, 1a) and several congeners 1b and 2a-d of formula RReO3 and RReO3·L, respectively, qualify as olefin epoxidation catalysts of high activity and selectivity. Related alkylrhenium (VI) complexes form efficient catalyst precursors as well, since they get oxidized by H2O2 to the same active species CH3ReO(O2)2·H2O (3). The present paper presents a comparison of this novel class of catalysts with the performance of known, commonly used catalysts. Catalyst stability has been recorded and deactivation reactions are described. The synthesis and crystal structure (X-ray diffraction) of the (pale pink-coloured) monomeric amino-functionalized complex O3ReCH2CH2CH2N(C2H5)2 (4A and its (violet) polymeric form (4B) are reported. Only the latter is an active epoxidation catalyst with H2O2. An improved laboratory method of the standard catalyst MTO 1a is described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-266
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Molecular Catalysis
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 3 Jan 1994


  • catalysis
  • olefins
  • oxidation
  • rhenium


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