Early Main-Group Metal Catalysts for the Hydrogenation of Alkenes with H2


  • We acknowledge Prof. Dr. Boese and D. Bläser for collection of X-ray data and H. Bandmann for measurement of two-dimensional 500 MHz NMR spectra.


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Transition-metal-free hydrogenation of alkenes can be carried out with simple organocalcium catalysts (20 bar H2, 20 °C). Both steps in the proposed catalytic cycle, hydride addition to the double bond and σ-bond metathesis with H2, have been confirmed. Alkenes sensitive to polymerization are also hydrogenated in good yields.