Dehydrogenation of ammonia-borane by cationic Pd(II) and Ni(II) complexes in a nitromethane medium: hydrogen release and spent fuel characterization
A highly electrophilic cationic PdII complex, [Pd(MeCN)_4][BF_4]_2 (1), brings about the preferential activation of the B–H bond in ammonia-borane (NH3·BH3, AB). At room temperature, the reaction between 1 in CH_3NO_2 and AB in tetraglyme leads to Pd nanoparticles and formation of spent fuels of the general formula MeNH_xBO_y as reaction byproducts, while 2 equiv. of H_2 is efficiently released per AB equiv. at room temperature within 60 seconds. For a mechanistic understanding of dehydrogenation by 1, the chemical structures of spent fuels were intensely characterized by a series of analyses such as elemental analysis (EA), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), solid state magic-angle-spinning (MAS) NMR spectra (^2H, ^(13)C, ^(15)N, and ^(11)B), and cross polarization (CP) MAS methods. During AB dehydrogenation, the involvement of MeNO2 in the spent fuels showed that the mechanism of dehydrogenation catalyzed by 1 is different from that found in the previously reported results. This AB dehydrogenation derived from MeNO_2 is supported by a subsequent digestion experiment of the AB spent fuel: B(OMe)_3 and N-methylhydroxylamine ([Me(OH)N]_2CH_2), which are formed by the methanolysis of the AB spent fuel (MeNH_xBO_y), were identified by means of ^(11)B NMR and single crystal structural analysis, respectively. A similar catalytic behavior was also observed in the AB dehydrogenation catalyzed by a nickel catalyst, [Ni(MeCN)_6][BF_4]_2 (2).
© 2015 Royal Society of Chemistry. Received 10th February 2015, Accepted 10th March 2015. This work was supported by the New & Renewable Energy Core Technology Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) granted financial resource from the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy, Republic of Korea (No. 20113030040020) and Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2014R1A6A1030732).
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