Issue Date: October 26, 2009
Key Metal-Methane Complex Observed
A transition-metal-methane complex believed to mimic a key intermediate in the conversion of natural gas into liquid fuels has finally been observed (Science 2009, 326, 553). In the species, the electrons of a C–H bond serve as a donor ligand to the metal, an arrangement called a σ complex. Such σ complexes are well-known for H2 and likely occur as intermediates in hydrogenation and hydrogenolysis reactions but have not been documented for methane in solution. . . .
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