Highly efficient catalytic hydrogenations are achieved by using amphiphilic polymer-stabilized Fe(0) nanoparticle (Fe NP) catalysts in ethanol or water in a flow reactor. Alkenes, alkynes, aromatic imines and aldehydes were hydrogenated nearly quantitatively in most cases. Aliphatic amines and aldehydes, ketone, ester, arene, nitro, and aryl halide functionalities are not affected, which provides an interesting chemoselectivity. The Fe NPs used in this system are stabilized and protected by an amphiphilic polymer resin, providing a unique system that combines long-term stability and high activity. The NPs were characterized by TEM of microtomed resin, which established that iron remains in the zero-valent form despite exposure to water and oxygen. The amphiphilic resin-supported Fe(0) nanoparticles in water and in flow provide a novel, robust, cheap and environmentally benign catalyst system for chemoselective hydrogenations.
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