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A generic approach for the catalytic reduction of nitriles

Stephen Caddick*, Duncan B. Judd, Alexandra K. de K. Lewis, Melanie T. Reich and Meredith R. V. Williams

The Chemistry Laboratory, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 9QJ, UK, Email:

S. Caddick, D. B. Judd, A. K. de K. Lewis, M. T. Reich, M. R. V. Williams, Tetrahedron, 2003, 59, 5417-5423.

DOI: 10.1016/S0040-4020(03)00858-5


A nickel boride catalyzed reduction of nitriles allows the preparation of Boc protected amines. The catalytic use of nickel(II) chloride in combination with excess sodium borohydride is environmental benign and tolerates air and moisture. Although the yield is sometimes moderate, the cleanliness of the method is exceptional.

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Key Words

catalytic, nickel borohydride, sodium borohydride, reduction, nitriles, tert-butyl carbamates, carbamates

ID: J72-Y2003-720