Methane constitutes the largest fraction of natural gas reserves and is a low-cost abundant starting material for the synthesis of value-added chemicals and fuel. Selective catalytic functionalization of methane remains a vital goal in the chemical sciences due to its low intrinsic reactivity. Borylation has recently emerged as a promising route for the catalytic functionalization of methane. A major challenge in this regard is selective borylation towards the monoborylated product that is more active than methane and can easily lead to over-functionalization. Herein, we report a highly selective microporous metal-organic-framework-supported iridium(iii) catalyst for methane borylation that exhibits a chemoselectivity of >99% (mono versus bis at 19.5% yield; turnover number = 67) for monoborylated methane, with bis(pinacolborane) as the borylation reagent in dodecane, at 150 °C and 34 atm of methane. The preference for the monoborylated product is ascribed to the shape-selective effect of the metal-organic framework pore structures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Process Chemistry and Technology