Selective oxidation of alcohols is a crucial step in many reaction schemes for a wide variety of manufacturing processes. The step is used in the production of fine chemicals, agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals, as well as to make bulk commodity chemicals for subsequent reaction.
Researchers at the Technical University of Denmark have demonstrated a highly efficient and selective method using gold nanoparticles in methanol as a base to oxidatively couple alcohols with amines to make amides in a one-pot reaction. The researchers point out that the process should be environmentally benign as it uses atmospheric oxygen as the oxidant and generates only water as the by-product.
- One-pot synthesis of amides by aerobic oxidative coupling of alcohols or aldehydes with amines using supported gold and base as catalysts,
Søren Kegnæs, Jerrik Mielby, Uffe V. Mentzel, Thomas Jensen, Peter Fristrup, Anders Riisager,
Chem. Commun. 2012.