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Dalton Trans. 2009 Feb 28;(8):1407-10.

Highly active iridium catalysts for the hydrogenation of ketones and aldehydes.

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  • 1Kanata Chemical Technologies Inc., 101 College Street, Office 230, MaRS Centre, South Tower, Toronto, ON M5G 1L7, Canada.


The pressure hydrogenation capabilities of the iridium pincer complexes IrH2Cl[((i)Pr2PC2H4)2NH] (1) and IrH3[((i)Pr2PC2H4)2NH] (2) are described and compared to related results obtained previously in transfer hydrogenation. Complex 1 was shown to act as a convenient air-stable entry point to the active catalyst 2, in the presence of base and hydrogen gas. The catalysts are active in a range of solvents, including CH2Cl2 and CHCl3, in contrast to related ruthenium systems. This class of iridium complexes is very effective for the direct hydrogenation of a wide range of carbonyl compounds including ketones, diketones, alpha,beta-unsaturated ketones and aldehydes. A catalytic cycle is proposed for this system which involves an ionic heterolytic bifunctional hydrogenation mechanism.

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