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One-Pot Synthesis of Secondary Amines from Nitroarenes and Aldehydes on Supported Copper Catalysts in a Flow Reactor: The Effect of the Support

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The effect of the support on the properties of copper catalysts supported on γ-Al2O3, SiO2, and TiO2–SiO2 with a ~5 wt % Cu content was studied in the one-pot synthesis of N-heptyl-p-toluidine from p-nitrotoluene and n-heptanal. The catalysts were characterized by elemental analysis, X-ray diffraction analysis, transmission electron microscopy, temperature-programmed reduction, and low-temperature nitrogen adsorption. The reaction was carried out in a flow reactor with the use of molecular hydrogen as a reducing agent. It was established that the nature of the support exerts a profound effect on the yield of the target secondary amine; in this case, 5%Cu/Al2O3 was found the most active catalyst. A combination of high catalyst activity in the hydrogenation of a nitro group to an amino group with the presence of acid sites, which facilitate imine formation as a result of the interaction of n-heptanal with p-toluidine, on the catalyst surface is necessary for reaching the greatest yield of N-heptyl-p-toluidine. The study of reaction mechanism on the 5%Cu/Al2O3 catalyst showed that p-nitrotoluene inhibits the hydrogenation of n-heptanal, and aldehyde hydrogenation into alcohol begins only after the conversion of the major portion of p-nitrotoluene as a result of the selective adsorption of the nitroarene under the conditions of the simultaneous presence of p-nitrotoluene and n-heptanal in the reaction mixture.

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Correspondence to A. L. Nuzhdin.

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Original Russian Text © E.A. Artyukha, A.L. Nuzhdin, G.A. Bukhtiyarova, E.A. Derevyannikova, E.Yu. Gerasimov, A.Yu. Gladkii, V.I. Bukhtiyarov, 2018, published in Kinetika i Kataliz, 2018, Vol. 59, No. 5, pp. 583–590.

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Artyukha, E.A., Nuzhdin, A.L., Bukhtiyarova, G.A. et al. One-Pot Synthesis of Secondary Amines from Nitroarenes and Aldehydes on Supported Copper Catalysts in a Flow Reactor: The Effect of the Support. Kinet Catal 59, 593–600 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1134/S0023158418050014

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  • one-stage synthesis
  • secondary amines
  • nitroarenes
  • aldehydes
  • flow reactor
  • molecular hydrogen
  • supported copper catalysts
  • support effect