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Metal-free hydrogenation catalyzed by an air-stable borane: use of solvent as a frustrated Lewis base.

ABSTRACT: In recent years 'frustrated Lewis pairs' (FLPs) have been shown to be effective metal-free catalysts for the hydrogenation of many unsaturated substrates. Even so, limited functional-group tolerance restricts the range of solvents in which FLP-mediated reactions can be performed, with all FLP-mediated hydrogenations reported to date carried out in non-donor hydrocarbon or chlorinated solvents. Herein we report that the bulky Lewis acids B(C6Cl5)x(C6F5)(3-x) (x=0-3) are capable of heterolytic H2 activation in the strong-donor solvent THF, in the absence of any additional Lewis base. This allows metal-free catalytic hydrogenations to be performed in donor solvent media under mild conditions; these systems are particularly effective for the hydrogenation of weakly basic substrates, including the first examples of metal-free catalytic hydrogenation of furan heterocycles. The air-stability of the most effective borane, B(C6Cl5)(C6F5)2, makes this a practically simple reaction method.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4497615 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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