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Catalytic alkane dehydrogenations



Olefins find widespread applications in the synthesis of polyolefins and fine chemicals. With an increasing demand for olefins, the technologies for alkane dehydrogenation have drawn much attention. Several types of heterogeneous catalysts have found applications in industry for the dehydrogenation of light alkanes, mainly ethane, propane, and butane. In the past three decades, a number of transition-metal complexes, particularly pincer-ligated iridium complexes, have been developed as the homogeneous catalysts for alkane dehydrogenations. The homogeneous catalyst systems operate under much milder conditions compared with the heterogeneous systems, and some systems exhibit good activity and high regioselectivity in dehydrogenation of alkanes longer than butane.


烯烃是一种重要的有机合成原料,在聚合物制备和精细化工领域具有非常广阔的应用前景。随着近年来烯烃需求的不断增长,烷烃脱氢制烯烃技术受到研究人员的广泛关注,多种不同类型的非均相催化剂已成功应用于低碳烷烃如乙烷、丙烷以及丁烷的催化脱氢工艺。在最近三十年中,过渡金属络合物,特别是pincer结构的铱络合物,已发展成为一类优良的均相烷烃脱氢催化剂。相对于非均相催化体系,该均相体系的反应条件更加温和,并且对直链烷烃( > C4)显示出更高的脱氢活性和区域选择性。

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This work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (2015CB856600) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21422209, 21432011, 21421091).

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Aiguo Hu or Zheng Huang.

Additional information

Yuxuan Zhang and Wubing Yao contributed equally to this work.

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Zhang, Y., Yao, W., Fang, H. et al. Catalytic alkane dehydrogenations. Sci. Bull. 60, 1316–1331 (2015).

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  • Olefins
  • Alkane dehydrogenation
  • Heterogeneous catalysts
  • Homogeneous catalysts
  • Pincer ligand
  • Iridium complexes


  • 烯烃
  • 烷烃脱氢
  • 非均相催化剂
  • 均相催化剂
  • pincer配体
  • 铱络合物