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J Am Chem Soc. 2003 Dec 17;125(50):15312-3.

Aerobic ruthenium-catalyzed oxidative cyanation of tertiary amines with sodium cyanide.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University, 1-3 Machikaneyama, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-8531, Japan.


RuCl3-catalyzed oxidative cyanation of tertiary amines with sodium cyanide under molecular oxygen (1 atm) at 60 degrees C gives the corresponding alpha-aminonitriles, which are versatile synthetic intermediates of various compounds such as amino acids and unsymmetrical 1,2-diamines, in excellent yields. This reaction is clean and should be an environmentally benign and useful process.

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