Methylated amines are highly important for a variety of pharmaceutical and agrochemical applications. Existing routes for their formation result in the production of large amounts of waste or require high reaction temperatures, both of which impact the ecological and economical footprint of the methodologies. Herein, we report the ruthenium-catalyzed reductive methylation of a range of aliphatic amines, using paraformaldehyde as both substrate and hydrogen source, in combination with water. This reaction proceeds under mild aqueous reaction conditions. Additionally the use of a secondary phase for catalyst retention and recycling has been investigated with promising results.
van der Waals, D., Heim, L. E., Gedig, C., Herbrik, F., Vallazza, S., & Prechtl, M. H. G. (2016). Ruthenium-Catalyzed Methylation of Amines with Paraformaldehyde in Water under Mild Conditions. ChemSusChem (Online), 9(17), 2343-2347. https://doi.org/10.1002/cssc.201600824