Editors' ChoiceChemistry

A clean combination of CO and amines

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Science  25 Nov 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6315, pp. 1017-1018
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6315.1017-f

It is rare for synthetically useful chemical reactions to proceed as though two parts are simply cut and pasted together. Wang et al. present just such a route to formamides, which are widely used as organic solvents and chemical reagents. The reaction, catalyzed by ruthenium supported on ceria, formally inserts carbon monoxide into a N–H bond of primary or secondary amines. Neither extraneous reagents nor by-products are involved. The authors further demonstrate a continuous flow protocol for dimethylformamide preparation that proceeds for 12 days with less than 5% activity loss.

Green Chem. 10.1039/c6gc02603f (2016).

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