Efficient hydrogen peroxide decomposition to oxygen and water catalysed by a ruthenium pincer complex

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Hydrogen peroxide decomposition is a major issue in medicine, energy, and environmental sciences. For example, findings could lead to the development of efficient H2O2 removal systems to clean wastewaters. Here I tested several homogeneous catalysts for H2O2 decomposition. I found that a dihydride version of a ruthenium complex coordinated by a phosphorous–nitrogen–phosphorus pincer ligand with isopropyl substituents on the phosphorus (PNPiPr) was superior to the hydride chloride congener. This is in line with previous activity studies with PNPiPr ruthenium catalysts. Moreover, no additives are necessary, further enhancing the potential scope of this system. By the use of the homogeneous catalyst Ru(H)2(PNPiPr)CO, it is possible to obtain turnover frequencies reaching 180,000 h−1 and turnover numbers more than 14,000 in a neutral hydrogen peroxide aqueous solution at 25 °C. Overall, findings reveal an efficient and stable system for hydrogen peroxide decomposition to oxygen and water under mild conditions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry Letters
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)359-365
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Homogeneous catalysis
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Oxygen
  • Pincer ligands
  • Ruthenium

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