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Unexpected Role of Anionic Ligands in the Ruthenium-Catalyzed Base-Free Selective Hydrogenation of Aldehydes



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Bigger and better: The replacement of anionic chloride ligands in Noyori-type [(diamine)(diphosphine)RuCl2] catalysts with bulky carboxylate ligands enabled the efficient selective hydrogenation of a variety of aldehydes under base-free conditions (see scheme). Turnover numbers of up to 100 000 were reached in the presence of a bulky carboxylic acid co-catalyst. This type of catalytic system probably operates through an inner-sphere mechanism.

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