Progress of Molybdenum and Tungsten Olefin-Metathesis Catalysts

Molybdenum and tungsten olefin-metathesis catalysts have quickly emerged as the most often-used transformations in modern chemical synthesis. These highly efficient catalysts provide unique access to materials of exceptional enantiomeric purity and often without generating solvent waste.

olefin metathesis reaction used in biotechnology image

Recently, the research team of the University of Stuttgart has developed new molybdenum and tungsten olefin-metathesis catalysts with excellent selectivity and reactivity, while maintaining stability in air. Relevant research results are published in the journal "Angewandte Chemie".

With the increasing concerns on the living environment and ecological values, the green chemistry requirements for related industrial production technologies are also getting higher. The molybdenum and tungsten olefin-metathesis Catalysts have the characteristics of high activity, high selectivity, high productivity, high stability, excellent chemical and thermal stability, and environmental protection and pollution-free, etc., which have attracted much attention in recent years.

olefin-metathesis catalysts image

The olefin metathesis reaction refers to the process in which the carbon-carbon double bonds in olefins are broken up and recombined to form new molecules under the catalysis of metal compounds. This reaction is widely used in the chemical industry, biotechnology, food, medicine and other fields.

The research on olefin metathesis reaction can be traced back to the mid-1950s of the last century. The earliest reported Schrock catalyst is based on molybdenum and tungsten. It owns good reaction activity and selectivity, but it is more sensitive to water and air. After that, researchers gradually turned attention to the ruthenium-based Grubbs catalyst, which has excellent stability and withstands functional groups such as air and alcohol. Therefore, Grubbs catalysts are currently more popular in organic and polymer chemistry applications.

olefin-metathesis reaction catalysts image

The research team of the University of Stuttgart has developed molybdenum and tungsten olefin-metathesis catalysts that possess the advantages of catalytic activity, stereoselectivity, air stability, functional group tolerance, and high production efficiency. And researchers found that the introduction of nitrile ligands into cationic complexes produces air-stable complexes that usually do not reduce activity, productivity, or selectivity.