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Magnesium Nitride as a Convenient Source of Ammonia: Preparation of Pyrroles

Gemma E. Veitch, Katy L. Bridgwood, Karen Rands-Trevor, Steven V. Ley*

*Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge, CB2 1EW, UK, Email:

G. E. Veitch, K. L. Bridgwood, K. Rands-Trevor, S. V. Ley, Synlett, 2008, 2597-2600.

DOI: 10.1055/s-0028-1083504

hazard warning


The cyclocondensation of 1,4-dicarbonyl compounds with magnesium nitride as a source of ammonia in methanol allows the synthesis of a diverse array of pyrroles.

see article for more examples


We would recommend that the procedure is followed exactly and that appropriate safety screens and worker safety protection is used owing to rapid build-up of pressures during the reaction process.

Steven V. Ley, February 16, 2010

Chemical Safety: Mg3N2 Hazard,

Key Words

pyrroles, Paal-Knorr pyrrole synthesis, heterocycles, ammonia, magnesium nitride, combinatorial chemistry, microwave synthesis

ID: J60-Y2008-2980