Alternative metals for homogeneous catalyzed hydroformylation reactions

Jola Pospech, Ivana Fleischer, Robert Franke, Stefan Buchholz, Matthias Beller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

224 Scopus citations


Transition-metal-catalyzed hydroformylation reactions constitute one of the most powerful tools for C-C bond formation in organic synthesis and represent an outstanding example of the application of homogeneous catalysis on an industrial scale. This process allows for the straightforward conversion of inexpensive chemical feedstock into broadly applicable aldehydes, which serve as major building blocks for numerous chemical products. These products are highly valuable for the chemical industry and used as plasticizers, detergents, and surfactants on a million ton scale. Moreover, aldehydes serve as versatile chemical intermediates for the production of fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Currently, most of the bulk hydroformylation processes rely on rhodium-based catalysts. The increasing demand and resulting high cost of this precious metal has resulted in alternative transition-metal catalysts becoming highly desirable. The following Review summarizes the progress achieved utilizing Ru, Ir, Pd, Pt, and Fe catalysts in hydroformylation reactions. New possibilities: There is a growing awareness that organometallic complexes based on ruthenium, iridium, palladium, and even iron as the central metal offer new opportunities for catalytic hydroformylations (see scheme; TM=transition metal). Research from the past few decades is critically summarized in this Review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2852-2872
Number of pages21
JournalAngewandte Chemie International Edition in English
Issue number10
StatePublished - 4 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • coordination modes
  • homogeneous catalysis
  • hydroformylation
  • transition metals


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