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Hydrocyanation by Homogeneous Catalysis

  1. Albert L. Casalnuovo,
  2. Ronald J. McKinney,
  3. Chadwick A. Tolman

Published Online: 15 MAR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470862106.ia089

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Casalnuovo, A. L., McKinney, R. J. and Tolman, C. A. 2006. Hydrocyanation by Homogeneous Catalysis. Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. The DuPont Company, Wilmington, DE, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2006


The homogeneous catalysis of hydrocyanation is discussed with particular reference to the hydrocyanation of butadiene to adiponitrile, as employed in the commercial synthesis of nylon. Nickel complexes with bulky phosphite ligands are most effective and the mechanism is discussed. Asymmetric versions of the reaction are also discussed.


  • nickel;
  • phosphite;
  • hydrogen cyanide;
  • isomerization;
  • asymmetric