The Krebs cycle is the fuel/energy source for cellular activity, and therefore of paramount importance for oxygen-based life. The cycle occurs in the mitochondrial matrix, where it produces and transfers electrons to generate energy-rich NADH and FADH2, as well as C4-, C5-, and C6-polycarboxylic acids as energy-poor metabolites. These metabolites are bio-renewable resources that represent potential sustainable carbon feedstocks, provided that carbon–hydrogen bonds are restored to these molecules. In the present study, polycarboxylic acids of the Krebs cycle and other mitochondria-relevant metabolites are dehydrated and reduced to diols or triols upon reaction with H2, catalyzed by sterically confined iridium-bipyridyl complexes.
ESI-Ir project ChemRxiv