Ruthenium oxide catalysts supported on various metal oxides, such as zirconia, ceria, and alumina, were prepared by an impregnation method using RuCl3·3H2O as a precursor. Local structures of the supported Ru oxide and oxidation states of Ru species were analyzed by in situ Ru K-edge X-ray absorption fine structure measurements. Small RuO2 particles were highly dispersed on zirconia and ceria. On the other hand, bulk RuO2 was deposited on alumina. Enantioselective hydrogenation of diethyl itaconate was achieved by combining the supported RuO2 catalysts with chiral ligands. The 1 wt% RuO2 supported on zirconia provided 95% ee and 99% yield. The Ru oxide was partially reduced during the reaction.
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