The selective hydrogenation of nitriles to primary amines using a bench-stable cobalt precatalyst under 4 atm of H2 is reported herein. The catalyst precursor was reduced in situ using NaHBEt3, and the resulting Lewis acid formed, BEt3, was found to be integral to the observed catalysis. Mechanistic insights gleaned from para-hydrogen induced polarization (PHIP) transfer NMR studies revealed that the pairwise hydrogenation of nitriles proceeded through a Co(I/III) redox process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry