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.
Corker, E., Mentzel, U. V., Mielby, J. J., Riisager, A., & Fehrmann, R. (2013). An alternative pathway for production of acetonitrile: ruthenium catalysed aerobic dehydrogenation of ethylamine. Green Chemistry, 15(4), 928-933. https://doi.org/10.1039/c3gc36513a