Fe2O3/NGr@C- and Co–Co3O4/NGr@C-catalysed hydrogenation of nitroarenes under mild conditions†
An improved hydrogenation of nitroarenes using nano-structured iron- and cobalt-based catalysts is presented. Modifications of the heterogeneous catalysts by N-doped graphene-flakes are crucial for the success of selective reductions. The use of polar solvents and basic additives has a significant positive influence on the rate of reduction of nitroarenes. This allows performing non-noble metal-catalysed hydrogenations under very mild reaction conditions (e.g. 70 °C and 20 bar). On the basis of the obtained catalytic results a heterolytic mechanism for the hydrogenation process is postulated, too.