An alternative pathway for production of acetonitrile: ruthenium catalysed aerobic dehydrogenation of ethylamine

Emily Corker, Uffe Vie Mentzel, Jerrik Jørgen Mielby, Anders Riisager, Rasmus Fehrmann

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The oxidative synthesis of acetonitrile from ethylamine was studied using a supported ruthenium catalyst. The reaction was conducted in both batch and flow processes and high conversions (over 85%) were achieved in both cases. Selectivity of both reactions was improved by optimisation of reaction conditions, achieving over 90% selectivity in the batch process and 80% selectivity in the continuous flow process. The use of a selective solid catalyst that utilises a feedstock that can be derived from biomass, dioxygen as the oxidant and water as the solvent represents a new, green route for the independent and efficient production of acetonitrile.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGreen Chemistry
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)928-933
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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