N-formyl-stabilizing quasi-catalytic species afford rapid and selective solvent-free amination of biomass-derived feedstocks

Hu Li, Haixin Guo, Yaqiong Su, Yuya Hiraga, Zhen Fang, Emiel J.M. Hensen, Masaru Watanabe, Richard Lee Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Nitrogen-containing compounds, especially primary amines, are vital building blocks in nature and industry. Herein, a protocol is developed that shows in situ formed N-formyl quasi-catalytic species afford highly selective synthesis of formamides or amines with controllable levels from a variety of aldehyde- and ketone-derived platform chemical substrates under solvent-free conditions. Up to 99% yields of mono-substituted formamides are obtained in 3 min. The C-N bond formation and N-formyl species are prevalent in the cascade reaction sequence. Kinetic and isotope labeling experiments explicitly demonstrate that the C-N bond is activated for subsequent hydrogenation, in which formic acid acts as acid catalyst, hydrogen donor and as N-formyl species source that stabilize amine intermediates elucidated with density functional theory. The protocol provides access to imides from aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, and mixed-substrates, requires no special catalysts, solvents or techniques and provides new avenues for amination chemistry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number699
JournalNature communications
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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