The catalytic networks of methylotrophic organisms, featuring redox enzymes for the activation of one-carbon moieties, can serve as great inspiration in the development of novel homogeneously catalyzed pathways for the interconversion of C-1 molecules at ambient conditions. An imidazolium-tagged arene-ruthenium complex was identified as an effective functional mimic of the bacterial formaldehyde dismutase, which provides a new and highly selective route for the conversion of formaldehyde to methanol in absence of any external reducing agents. Moreover, secondary amines are reductively methylated by the organometallic dismutase mimic in a redox self-sufficient manner with formaldehyde acting both as carbon source and reducing agent.
van der Waals, D., Heim, L. E., Vallazza, S., Gedig, C., Deska, J., & Prechtl, M. H. G. (2016). Self-Sufficient Formaldehyde-to-Methanol Conversion by Organometallic Formaldehyde Dismutase Mimic. Chemistry: A European Journal, 22(33), 11568-11573. https://doi.org/10.1002/chem.201602679