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Cobalt–Polypyrrole/Melamine-Derived Co–N@NC Catalysts for Efficient Base-Free Formic Acid Dehydrogenation and Formylation of Quinolines through Transfer Hydrogenation

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journal contribution
posted on 17.12.2019, 14:34 by Yan Leng, Shengyu Du, Guodong Feng, Xinxin Sang, Pingping Jiang, Hui Li, Dawei Wang
It is highly desired but remains a great challenge to develop non-noble metal heterogeneous catalysts to supersede noble metal catalysts for formic acid (FA) dehydrogenation and the corresponding transfer hydrogenation reactions. Herein, we developed a simple and feasible melamine-assisted pyrolysis strategy for the preparation of atomic cobalt–nitrogen (Co–N)-anchored mesoporous carbon with high metal loading (>6.8 wt %) and high specific surface area (750 m2 g–1). Systematic investigation reveals that both the organic carbon source polypyrrole and the nitrogen source melamine are crucial for the successful generation of such Co–N-based materials. The obtained samples (Co–N)n@NC were demonstrated to be highly efficient and robust catalysts for FA dehydrogenation and formylation of quinolines through transfer hydrogenation, exhibiting a very high hydrogen production rate of 16 451 mL·gCo–1·h–1 for FA dehydrogenation and affording excellent yields (up to 99%), selectivity (up to 98%), and stability for transfer hydrogenation. This work may provide a promising route for the fabrication of more low-cost metal–nitrogen catalysts for green fine chemical synthesis.