Hydrogenation of esters to alcohols with a well-defined iron complex

Svenja Werkmeister, Kathrin Junge, Bianca Wendt, Elisabetta Alberico, Haijun Jiao, Wolfgang Baumann, Henrik Junge, Fabrice Gallou, Matthias Beller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

260 Scopus citations


We present the first base-free Fe-catalyzed ester reduction applying molecular hydrogen. Without any additives, a variety of carboxylic acid esters and lactones were hydrogenated with high efficiency. Computations reveal an outer-sphere mechanism involving simultaneous hydrogen transfer from the iron center and the ligand. This assumption is supported by NMR experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8722-8726
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie International Edition in English
Issue number33
StatePublished - 11 Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • alcohols
  • esters
  • homogeneous catalysis
  • hydrogenation
  • iron


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