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Monosubstituted Malononitriles: Efficient One-Pot Reductive Alkylations of Malononitrile with Aromatic Aldehydes

Fariba Tayyari, Dwight E. Wood, Phillip E. Fanwick, Robert E. Sammelson*

*Department of Chemistry, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306-0445, USA, Email:

F. Tayyari, D. E. Wood, P. E. Fanwick, R. E. Sammelson, Synthesis, 2008, 279-285.

DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-990945


A powerful one-pot method for the reductive alkylation of stoichiometric amounts of malononitrile with aromatic aldehydes incorporates water as the catalyst in ethanol for the condensation step. The subsequent reduction step takes place quickly and efficiently with sodium borohydride to give monosubstituted malononitriles.

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Key Words

malononitrile, aldehydes, condensation, reduction, sodium borohydride, active methylenes

ID: J66-Y2008-0160