Application of cobalt complexes containing SNS ligands as catalysts for biomimetic paraffin activation.
A series of SNS ligands have been successfully synthesised and characterised by IR, NMR and MS. The ligands are divided into two groups and represented by the general formulae: 2,6- bis(RSCH2)pyridine [R= methyl, ethyl, butyl, cyclohexyl, phenyl] and bis(RSCH2CH2)amine [R= ethyl, butyl, decyl]. Cobalt complexes of the respective ligands with the general formulae Co[2,6-bis(RSCH2)pyridine]Cl2 and Co[bis(RSCH2CH2)amine]Cl2 were synthesised and characterised by IR, elemental analysis and X-ray crystallography (for selected complexes). Thus, to investigate the electronic and steric effects of the ligand structure on the chemistry and reactivity of the complexes, the substituents bonded to the two sulfur donor atoms were sequentially varied and two different nitrogen sources were chosen. Crystal structures of Co[2,6- bis(CH2SCH2)pyridine]Cl2 (Ia), Co[2,6-bis(CH2CH2SCH2) pyridine]Cl2 (IIa) and Co[2,6- bis(CH2CH2CH2CH2SCH2)pyridine]Cl2 (IIIa) were obtained. It was found that complex Ia exists as a molecular dimer linked through two chloride bridges resulting in an octahedral geometry around each metal centre, while complexes IIa and IIIa are monomers exhibiting a trigonal bypyrimidal geometry. The complexes were tested as catalysts for the activation of paraffinic C−H bonds towards the formation of oxygenated products: octanol, octanone, octanal and octanoic acid from the substrate n-octane. Gas chromatography was utilised to quantify the products formed and also to calculate the conversion and selectivity of each catalyst system. The catalytic testing revealed that the ketone products were the most dominant with selectivities of ca. 90%. The catalyst that was the most active was Co[bis(CH2CH2SCH2CH2)amine]Cl2 (Ib) with a total n-octane conversion of 23%.