A series of unsymmetrical 1,3-disubstituted benzimidazolium chlorides were synthesized as N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) precursors. These compounds were used to synthesize of the PEPPSI-type palladium NHC complexes. The structures of all compounds were characterized by H-1 NMR, C-13 NMR, FT-IR spectroscopy and elemental analyses. The catalytic activity of the PEPPSI-type palladium-NHC complexes has been evaluated with respect to the Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling reactions of phenyl boronic acid with various aryl halides in aqueous media. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.