A Highly Active Catalyst for the Hydrogenation of Amides to Alcohols and Amines


  • This work was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GoRTT), and the University of Alberta. We gratefully appreciate the assistance of Mark Miskolzie, Nupur Dabral, and Mickey Richards at the University of Alberta High Field NMR laboratory and we would like to express our gratitude to Dr. Satoshi Takebayashi for his advice and numerous discussions.


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Amide-zing: The reaction between 2 equivalents of Ph2P(CH2)2NH2 and cis-[Ru(CH3CN)23-C3H5)(cod)]BF4 (cod=1,5-cyclooctadiene) forms a highly active catalyst precursor for the selective hydrogenation of amides. The reaction proceeds with excellent atom economy, yield, and turnover numbers (TONs) under moderate reaction conditions. The technology offers a greener, practical approach to the use of metal hydride reagents commonly employed in both academia and industry.