Cobalt-Catalyzed Aqueous Dehydrogenation of Formic Acid

Wei Zhou, Zhihong Wei, Anke Spannenberg, Haijun Jiao, Kathrin Junge, Henrik Junge, Matthias Beller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Among the known liquid organic hydrogen carriers, formic acid attracts increasing interest in the context of safe and reversible storage of hydrogen. Here, the first molecularly defined cobalt pincer complex is disclosed for the dehydrogenation of formic acid in aqueous medium under mild conditions. Crucial for catalytic activity is the use of the specific complex 3. Compared to related ruthenium and manganese complexes 7 and 8, this optimal cobalt complex showed improved performance. DFT computations support an innocent non-classical bifunctional outer-sphere mechanism on the triplet state potential energy surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8459-8464
Number of pages6
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number36
StatePublished - 26 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • cobalt
  • dehydrogenation
  • formic acid
  • pincer complexes
  • synthetic methods


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