The Catalytic Amination of Alcohols



In this Minireview, the synthesis of amines by the amination of alcohols, by means of the so-called borrowing hydrogen methodology, is presented. Compared to other synthetic methodologies for the synthesis of amines, these transformations are highly attractive because often alcohols are readily available starting materials, some of them on a large scale from renewable sources. In addition, the amination of alcohols produces water as the only by-product, which makes the process potentially environmentally benign. Already today, lower alkyl amines are produced in bulk by the chemical industry with this synthetic method. In particular, the recent progress applying organometallic catalysts based on iridium, ruthenium, and other metals will be discussed. Notable recent achievements include the conversion of challenging substrates such as diols, the development of recyclable catalysts, milder reaction temperatures, and the direct alkylation of ammonia or its equivalents with alcohols.