2004 Volume 77 Issue 12 Pages 2237-2250
A new process for converting secondary amines into N,N,N′,N′-tetraalkyloxamides under CO pressure, catalyzed by homogeneous palladium complexes in the presence of 1,4-dichloro-2-butene (DCB) as an oxidant, has been developed. The mechanism of the oxidative double-carbonylation process, consisting of the oxidation of Pd(0) to Pd(II) with DCB through a β-chloride elimination of the η3-(chloromethyl)allylpalladium(II) intermediate, the formation of mono- and bis(carbamoyl)palladium species, and a reductive elimination of the two carbamoyl ligands, is proposed based on studies of the behavior of carbamoylpalladium complexes. When primary amines are employed with DCB as the oxidant, N,N′-dialkyloxamide is catalytically produced, whereas urea is exclusively produced when iodine is used as the oxidant. The reaction of an N-monopropylcarbamoylpalladium complex with propylamine under CO gave N,N′-dipropylurea, whereas a treatment with diethylamine yielded unsymmetrical N,N-diethyl-N′-propylurea, implying the intermediate formation of propyl isocyanate that is converted into the urea upon a reaction with the added amine. A kinetic study on the reaction of chloro-N-propylcarbamoylpalladium with triethylamine suggested a process proceeding through a base-promoted deprotonation of the N-monoalkylcarbamoyl ligand to form propyl isocyanate.
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