Hydration of nitriles to amides by a chitin-supported ruthenium catalyst†
Chitin-supported ruthenium (Ru/chitin) promotes the hydration of nitriles to carboxamides under aqueous conditions. The nitrile hydration can be performed on a gram-scale and is compatible with the presence of various functional groups including olefins, aldehydes, carboxylic esters and nitro and benzyloxycarbonyl groups. The Ru/chitin catalyst is easily prepared from commercially available chitin, ruthenium(III) chloride and sodium borohydride. Analysis of Ru/chitin by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy indicates the presence of ruthenium nanoparticles on the chitin support.