Homogeneous Catalytic Dehydrogenation of Formic Acid: Progress Towards a Hydrogen-Based Economy

One of the limiting factors to a hydrogen-based economy is associated with the problems storing hydrogen. Many different approaches are under evaluation and the optimum approach will not be the same for all applications, i.e., static, mobile, small and large scale needs, etc. In this article we focus on formic acid as a promising molecule for hydrogen storage that, under certain catalytic conditions, can be dehydrogenated to give highly pure hydrogen and carbon dioxide with only extremely low levels of carbon monoxide gas produced. We describe the various homogeneous catalysts available that usually operate in aqueous formic acid solutions. We also briefly describe the reverse reaction that would contribute to making the use of formic acid in hydrogen storage even more attractive.


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