Chemistry - a European Journal vol:9 issue:1 pages:334-338
Although transition-metal complexes are very attractive as homogeneous catalysts in fine chemistry, their high prices often limit their applications. A means to recycle those catalysts would solve this problem and would simultaneously facilitate the downstream purification of the product. This is now realized in a new concept in which homogeneous catalysis is coupled to dialysis. The advantages of homogeneous catalysis (off-the-shelf catalysts, high activities and selectivities) are thus combined with those of heterogeneous catalysis (easy catalyst separation from product solution, reuse of catalyst, and possibility for continuous operation). Since the heart of the process is the membrane, self-prepared membranes were preferred as they allow a better control and understanding of the separation characteristics. Rhodamine B was used as a probe molecule to define the working conditions of the membrane. The concept is proven to work for two relevant chiral reactions: a hydrogenation with Ru-BINAP and a hydrogen transfer reaction with Ru-TsDPEN [BINAP = (1, 1'-binaphthalene)-2,2'-diylbis(diphenylphosphine); TsDPEN = tosyl-N, N'-diphenyl-1,2-ethanediamine].