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Hydrogen-Free Homogeneous Catalytic Reduction of Olefins in Aqueous Solutions

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journal contribution
posted on 18.07.2008, 00:00 by Carina Gaviglio, Fabio Doctorovich
Herein we report a study involving the homogeneous catalytic reduction of unsaturated substrates in aqueous solutions or water−organic solvent mixtures. The reduction of olefins has been carried out in the presence of catalytic amounts of [Fe(CN)5NH3]3- and excess of NH2OH, which under mild reaction conditions can be used to reduce carbon−carbon unsaturations without affecting carbonyl functionalities and aromatic rings. To explore the scope of the catalytic reduction, a wide variety of representative unsaturated substrates have been examined. The steric effects of the substituents on the carbon−carbon multiple bond as well as the regioselectivity and stereoselectivity of the catalyst have been studied. The deuterium kinetic isotope effect on the catalytic reduction of double bonds in olefins has been analyzed, and no significant kinetic isotope effect was found. Among the great advantages of this novel procedure for catalytic reduction are that hydrogen and high pressures are not needed, the catalyst is inexpensive and easily prepared, and water as well as water−organic solvent mixtures can be used as reaction media.