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Simple Methodology for the Aerobic N‑Methylation of Substituted Anilines Catalyzed by Zirconium Oxychloride Octahydrate, ZrOCl2·8H2O

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journal contribution
posted on 14.08.2013, 00:00 by Reza Tayebee, Esmail Rezaei Seresht, Fariba Jafari, Sima Rabiei
A highly chemoselective methodology is described for the N-methylation of functionalized anilines with dimethyl carbonate (MeOCO2Me, DMC) in the presence of ZrOCl2·8H2O. Dimethyl carbonate, which usually promotes methylation at T > 120 °C and eventually under inert atmosphere, was activated in the presence of zirconium oxychloride for the desired transformation at 90 °C under aerobic conditions. Aminophenols showed good reactivity in this transformation and produced the corresponding N-methylanilines, as the major products, with high selectivity. Catalyst reusability study confirmed that ZrOCl2·8H2O is a recyclable catalyst and its catalytic activity was remained unchanged at least after eight runs. Effect of some reaction parameters such as catalyst concentration, aniline/DMC mole ratio, reaction time, and temperature were also investigated.

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