Efficient Hydration of Nitriles to Amides in Water, Catalyzed by Ruthenium Hydroxide Supported on Alumina


  • This work was supported in part by the Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST) program of Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan.


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A broad range of amides is accessible in excellent yield (>99 %) by hydration of the corresponding nitriles in water in the presence of the supported ruthenium catalyst Ru(OH)x/Al2O3 (see scheme). For example, the industrially important conversion of acrylonitrile into acrylamide was achieved in quantitative yield and better than 99 % selectivity. The catalyst can be reused without loss of catalytic activity and selectivity.