Aromatic and aliphatic ketones reacted with aniline and molecular hydrogen in the presence of an easily available copper catalyst to give amines in high yields.
Reductive amination is one of the most important and effective C-N bond forming reactions and provides a general practical way to access amines. The reaction commonly involves chemicals which act hydrogen donors to be present, such as silanes and formates. However, utilizing molecular hydrogen instead would give a much more environmentally and atom-economical reducing agent, would give water as the only by-product.
Here, Matthias Beller and colleagues from the Leibniz-Institute for Catalysis in Rostock, Germany report that simple Cu(OAc)2, an inexpensive and easily available catalyst, could catalyse the reductive amination of a variety of ketones with anilines and molecular hydrogen. The procedure does not require any complicated ligands or additional acid or base and represents the first example of a catalytic approach using copper and molecular hydrogen for reductive aminations.
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Copper-catalyzed reductive amination of aromatic and aliphatic ketones with anilines using environmental-friendly molecular hydrogen, Svenja Werkmeister, Kathrin Junge and Matthias Beller, Green Chem., 2012, DOI: 10.1039/C2GC35565E
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