An Environmentally Benign Process for the Hydrogenation of Ketones with Homogeneous Iron Catalysts

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Abstract

Iron complexes generated in situ catalyze homogeneously the transfer hydrogenation of aliphatic and aromatic ketones by utilizing 2-propanol as a hydrogen donor in the presence of base. The influence of different reaction parameters on the catalytic activity is investigated in detail by applying a three-component catalyst system composed of an iron salt, 2,2′:6′,2′′-terpyridine, and PPh3. The scope and limitations of the described catalyst is shown in the reduction of 11 different ketones. In most cases, high conversion and excellent chemoselectivity are obtained. Mechanistic studies indicate a monohydride reaction pathway for the homogeneous iron catalyst.

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