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The reductive deaminative conversion of nitriles to alcohols using para-formaldehyde in aqueous solution

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Abstract

We report herein, for the first time, the application of para-formaldehyde (pFA) to the reductive deamination of both aliphatic and aromatic nitriles in aqueous solution under transfer hydrogenation conditions. A broad range of primary alcohols have been synthesized selectively with very good to excellent yields under the optimized conditions. The study disclosed that the air-stable, inexpensive and commercially available catalyst [Ru(p-cymene)Cl2]2 acts as the catalyst precursor in this reaction, converting to other more active catalytic species in the presence of pFA, resulting in its degradation to CO2 and H2. Nitriles are also showed to play a dual role in this transformation, both as a substrate and as a ligand, where the dimeric catalyst structures convert to monomeric ones upon the coordination of nitrile molecules.

Graphical abstract: The reductive deaminative conversion of nitriles to alcohols using para-formaldehyde in aqueous solution

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Jul 2019, accepted on 16 Sep 2019 and first published on 18 Sep 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9CY01484E
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2019, Advance Article

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    The reductive deaminative conversion of nitriles to alcohols using para-formaldehyde in aqueous solution

    G. Tavakoli and M. H. G. Prechtl, Catal. Sci. Technol., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9CY01484E

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