Development of a Bio-Inspired Dual Catalytic System for Alkane Dehydrogenation

Julian G. West and Erik J. Sorensen

Israel Journal of Chemistry
2017, 57, 3-4, 259-269; DOI: 10.1002/ijch.201600115


The alkene is a central functional group in organic synthesis. While myriad reliable methods exist to access this moiety from other functionalities, acceptorless dehydrogenation, or the direct synthesis of alkenes from alkanes with hydrogen gas as the sole byproduct, remains a challenging, albeit highly desirable, transformation.

Moreover, this reaction is comprised of two consecutive C–H activation events, suggest even more the dire barriers to expect for its enactment. This essay provides an account of our recent efforts toward accessing this difficult reaction class, with particular attention paid to the diverse precedents that informed our explorations. This report highlights the benefits of maintaining a broad range of interests, and we hope that it illustrates the vast connectivity between chemical disciplines.