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Start date: Jun 5, 2013, End date: Jun 4, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project is focused on the development of efficient, versatile and sustainable synthetic methodologies within the field of organic chemistry to allow preparation of simple organic compounds and its application to industrial processes. Amines are very important compounds for the chemical industry and also for several biological processes, and the discovery of new effective methods for their synthesis is still a very relevant research field. An attractive and sustainable approach is the metal-catalyzed amination of alcohols, an environmentally ideal process due to water is the only by-product and it is not necessary to use expensive and waste-generating activation agents.Nevertheless, this procedure has yet been scarcely investigated and most of the known catalytic systems require harsh conditions and are little productive and actives. For this reason, this proposal is aimed to the study of this transformation and its transfer to large-scale production in industrial processes. The first objective is to develop novel catalysts based on ruthenium and iron complexes that allow performing this reaction by using mild and chemoselective conditions. Otherwise different studies would be conducted to identify the exact operating reaction mechanism, while the scope of the amination reaction would be studied for further establishment of this methodology in organic synthesis. In addition, we have also a great interest to use chemical products based on functionalized alcohols from renewable resources (e.g. glycerol, sorbitol, etc.) which would allow for a sustainable production of novel and industrially significant amines, as well as to show the applicability of the developed methodology with the synthesis of some biologically active compounds. Finally, a very attractive objective consists in the development of an enantioselective version that allows preparing enantiomerically pure chiral amines, since to date the direct asymmetric amination of racemic alcohols is not known.
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