Amide synthesis from alcohols and amines by the extrusion of dihydrogen

Lars Ulrik Nordstrøm, Henning Vogt, Robert Madsen

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

470 Scopus citations


An environmentally friendly method for synthesis of amides is presented where a simple ruthenium catalyst mediates the direct coupling between an alcohol and an amine with the liberation of two molecules of dihydrogen. The active catalyst is generated in situ from an easily available ruthenium complex, an N-heterocyclic carbene and a phosphine. The reaction allows primary alcohols to be coupled with primary alkylamines to afford the corresponding secondary amides in good yields. The amide formation presumably proceeds through a catalytic cycle where the intermediate aldehyde and hemiaminal are both coordinated to the metal catalyst.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17672-17673
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number52
StatePublished - Dec 31 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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