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Metal-free catalysts for hydrogenation


Ethylene feedstocks must be ultrapure for plastics production, but metal-based catalysts used for acetylene removal are limited by cost, scarcity and durability. Now, electrochemical studies demonstrate that 2-thiolimidazole exceeds the efficiency of traditional metal-based catalysts with remarkable selectivity and conversion rates.

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Fig. 1: Semi-hydrogenation of acetylene to ethylene by (deprotonated) 2-thiolimidazole.


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L.D. thanks the Australian Research Council (ARC, CE230100032, FL 190100126).

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Correspondence to Liming Dai.

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Dai, Q., Dai, L. Metal-free catalysts for hydrogenation. Nat. Chem. 16, 845–846 (2024).

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