Selective conversion of alcohols in water to carboxylic acids by in situ generated ruthenium trans dihydrido carbonyl PNP complexes†
In this work, we present a mild method for direct conversion of primary alcohols into carboxylic acids with the use of water as an oxygen source. Applying a ruthenium dihydrogen based dehydrogenation catalyst for this cause, we investigated the effect of water on the catalytic dehydrogenation process of alcohols. Using 1 mol% of the catalyst we report up to high yields. Moreover, we isolated key intermediates which most likely play a role in the catalytic cycle. One of the intermediates was identified as a trans dihydrido carbonyl complex which is generated in situ in the catalytic process.