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General and Selective Iron-Catalyzed Transfer Hydrogenation of Nitroarenes without Base

Gerrit Wienhöfer, Iván Sorribes, Albert Boddien, Felix Westerhaus, Kathrin Junge, Henrik Junge, Rosa Llusar and Matthias Beller*

*Leibniz-Institut für Katalyse e.V. an der Universität Rostock, Albert Einstein Strasse 29a, 18059 Rostock, Germany, Email:

G. Wienhöfer, I. Sorribes, A. Boddien, F. Westerhaus, K. Junge, H. Junge, R. Llusar, M. Beller, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133, 12875-12879.

DOI: 10.1021/ja2061038


A well-defined iron-based catalyst system enables the reduction of nitroarenes to anilines using formic acid as reducing agent. A broad range of substrates including other reducible functional groups were converted to the corresponding anilines in good to excellent yields at mild conditions. Notably, the process constitutes a rare example of base-free transfer hydrogenations.

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Key Words

Reduction of Nitroarenes, Formic Acid

ID: J48-Y2011-2280