New homogeneous catalyst comprised of [Ru(methallyl)2(cod)] (cod = 1,5-cyclooctadiene) (1) and 2-diphenylphosphanyl-4-pyridyl(dimethyl)amine (2) is shown to efficiently catalyze the hydration of various nitriles under neutral conditions. The hydration proceeds in the presence of 0.5 mol% of the ruthenium catalyst at 80 °C in 1,2-dimethoxyethane solution and the corresponding amide is obtained within few hours without the formation of byproducts. Comparison of some phosphine ligands for the hydration reveals that the dimethylamino moiety of 2 improves the catalytic performance dramatically.
- Homogeneous catalysis
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