(Chemical Equation Presented) With open arms: A ruthenium PNN complex (see scheme) catalyzes the hydrogenation of esters in high yields under neutral conditions. The analogous PNP complex is less active. A mechanism is proposed based on the hemilabile nature of the PNN ligand which allows a vacant site to be created by decoordination of the -CH2NEt2 arm.
- Homogeneous catalysis
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