Hydrogenolysis of hydrocarbons is of considerable technological importance for applications such as the hydroprocessing of petrochemical feedstocks to generate high-value and useful chemicals and fuels. We studied the catalytic activity of tantalum hydride supported on MCM-41 for the hydrogenolysis of alkanes at low temperature and low atmospheric pressure in a dynamic reactor. The reactions proceed with good turnover numbers, and the catalyst could be reused for several times, which makes the overall catalytic process sustainable. We derived the plausible mechanism by using DFT calculations and identified the preferred pathways by the analysis of potential energy surface. Our results and the proposed reaction mechanism demonstrate the viability of the "catalyst-by-design" approach. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry