Dehydrogenation of anhydrous methanol at room temperature by o-aminophenol-based photocatalysts

Masanori Wakizaka, Takeshi Matsumoto, Ryota Tanaka, Ho Chol Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Dehydrogenation of anhydrous methanol is of great importance, given its ubiquity as an intermediate for the production of a large number of industrial chemicals. Since dehydrogenation of methanol is an endothermic reaction, heterogeneous or homogeneous precious-metal-based catalysts and high temperatures are usually required for this reaction to proceed. Here we report the photochemical dehydrogenation of anhydrous methanol at room temperature catalysed by o-aminophenol (apH2), o-aminophenolate (apH-) and the non-precious metal complex trans-[FeII(apH)2(MeOH)2]. Under excitation at 289±10 nm and in the absence of additional photosensitizers, these photocatalysts generate hydrogen and formaldehyde from anhydrous methanol with external quantum yields of 2.9±0.15%, 3.7±0.19% and 4.8±0.24%, respectively, which are the highest values reported so far to the best of our knowledge. Mechanistic investigations reveal that the photo-induced formation of hydrogen radicals triggers the reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12333
JournalNature communications
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 26
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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