Several different types of organic synthesis can benefit from hydrogenation processes. Prepare primary amines from nitriles (shown procedure) with excellent atom economy by employing a catalytic hydrogenation. Current catalysts for this type of reaction, however, have a restricted substrate scope, especially when it comes to structurally complicated, functionalized nitrile substrates. In this light, it would be helpful to have access to better catalysts for more widespread hydrogenations.
A silica-supported nickel nanoparticle catalyst for the general and selective hydrogenation of various nitriles has been created by Matthias Beller, Rajenahally V. Jagadeesh, and coworkers at the Leibniz-Institut für Katalyse e.V. in Rostock, Germany. Ni(NO3)26H2O was combined with colloidal silica in water and heated to 65 °C to create the catalyst. This process resulted in nickel-oxide nanoparticles (NiO-NPs@SiO2), which were subsequently dried and calcined in air at 600 °C. In order to obtain the catalyst (Ni-NPs@SiO2-500), nickel oxide was reduced using H2 at 500 °C.
The obtained catalyst was put to use for the hydrogenation of several heterocyclic, aromatic, and aliphatic nitriles in methanol at 60-80 °C and 35 pressure H2 and 5 bar NH3. With careful isolation and excellent yields, we were able to acquire the needed amines from even the most difficult substrates. Because of its durability, the catalyst can be recycled for use in several reactions.