Kinetic Modeling of the Nickel-Catalyzed Esterification of Amides

Nickel-catalyzed coupling reactions provide exciting tools in chemical synthesis. However, most methodologies in this area require high catalyst loadings, which commonly range from 10–20 mol % nickel. Through an academic-industrial collaboration, we demonstrate that kinetic modeling can be used strategically to overcome this problem, specifically within the context of the Ni-catalyzed conversion of amides to esters. The successful application of this methodology to a multigram-scale coupling, using only 0.4 mol % Ni, highlights the impact of this endeavor.