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Structural and thermochemical studies of pyrrolidine borane and piperidine borane by gas electron diffraction and quantum chemical calculations

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  • Aliyu M. Ja’o
  • Derek A. Wann
  • Conor D. Rankine
  • João P.F. Nunes
  • Jean Claude Guillemin
  • Sarah L. Masters


Publication details

JournalStructural Chemistry
DateAccepted/In press - 21 Sep 2020
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 7 Oct 2020
Early online date7/10/20
Original languageEnglish


The gaseous structures, thermochemical properties and dehydrogenation reaction energy profiles of the borane complexes of pyrrolidine and piperidine have been investigated using gas electron diffraction (GED) and state-of-the-art computational methods. These complexes are of interest because of their potential as hydrogen storage materials for future onboard transport applications. A comparative structural and thermochemical analysis revealed structures with a slight difference in the essential B–N bond length, with the piperidine borane having a longer bond even though it has a stronger B–N bond according to predicted bond dissociation energies, a trend common with amine boranes. To identify the most favourable dehydrogenation pathway, BH3-catalysed and BH3-uncatalysed dehydrogenation channels have been explored, where the former has been shown to be the favourable process for both complexes. The energy requirements for the hydrogen release reactions are expected to be minimal as evidenced from the calculated dehydrogenation reaction energies, implying their suitability for onboard chemical hydrogen storage.

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    Research areas

  • Amine boranes, Dehydrogenation, Gas electron diffraction, Hydrogen storage

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