Synlett 2006(6): 962-963  
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-933142
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Ammonia: A Versatile Reagent in Organic Chemistry

José Eduardo Damas Martins*
Instituto de Química, Universidade federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Departamento de Química Orgânica, Porto Alegre 91501-970-Brazil
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
14 March 2006 (online)


At standard temperature and pressure ammonia (NH3) is a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent odor and is easily liquified. In addition to being used as a solvent in the form of liquid ammonia, it is very commonly employed as an aqueous solution or a gas. Ammonia has become a very important and versatile reagent used in organic chemistry. It is employed in a great variety of chemical reactions as Birch reductions, [1] Ugi reactions, [2] dechlorinations [1] and promotes a great series of important chemical transformations, such as Sonogashira coupling, [3] fragmentation of carbolactones [4] and many others. The ­examples below highlight the importance and great ­versatility of this reagent in organic synthesis.


  • 1 Lapis AAM. Kreutz OC. Pohlmann AR. Costa VEU. Tetrahedron: Asymmetry  2001,  12:  557 
  • 2 Pick R. Bauer M. Kazmaier U. Hebach C. Synlett  2005,  757 
  • 3 Ahmed MSM. Mori A. Org. Lett.  2003,  5:  3057 
  • 4 Dai M. Zhang X. Khim SK. Schultz AG. J. Org. Chem.  2005,  70:  384 
  • 5a Lai G. Bhamare NK. Anderson WK. Synlett  2001,  230 
  • 5b Bandgar BP. Makone SS. Synlett  2003,  262 
  • 5c Mori N. Togo H. Synlett  2005,  1456 
  • 5d McAllister GD. Wilfred CD. Taylor RJK. Synlett  2002,  1291 
  • 6 Saulnier MG. Zimmermann K. Struzynski CP. Sang X. Velaparthi U. Wittman M. Frennesson DB. Tetrahedron Lett.  2004,  45:  397 
  • 7a De Oliveira LF. Costa VEU. Tetrahedron: Asymmetry  2004,  15:  2583 
  • 7b Pilli RA. Costa VEU. Lapis AAM. Fátima A. Martins JED. Tetrahedron Lett.  2005,  46:  495 
  • 8 Kaboudin B. Moradi K. Tetrahedron Lett.  2005,  46:  2989 
  • 9 Yang XJ. Liu JT. Tetrahedron Lett.  2004,  45:  5305