Methyl formate as a hydrogen energy carrier

Rui Sang, Zhihong Wei, Yuya Hu, Elisabetta Alberico, Duo Wei, Xinxin Tian, Pavel Ryabchuk, Anke Spannenberg, Rauf Razzaq, Ralf Jackstell, Jonas Massa, Peter Sponholz, Haijun Jiao, Henrik Junge, Matthias Beller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The use of renewable energy is central for the realization of a circular economy, which is essential for further global economic development. In this background, hydrogen storage materials play an important role. Here we propose a previously overlooked, industrially available bulk chemical (methyl formate, MF) as an efficient and practical hydrogen storage material. Utilizing appropriate catalysts, hydrogen production from MF is significantly faster than with other established chemical hydrogen carriers, such as formic acid and methanol, under very mild conditions. The optimized MF dehydrogenation system presented here is highly active (maximum turnover frequency (TOFmax) > 44,000 h−1 and turnover number > 100,000) and selective (CO undetectable). Moreover, the solvent-free MF dehydrogenation demonstrates its application potential. Here we show the dehydrogenation reaction of MF. We expect that these insights will serve as an inspiration for the development of alternative energy materials and new catalytic transformations. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-550
Number of pages8
JournalNature Catalysis
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


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