Synthesis 2007(20): 3179-3184  
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-990782
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Laboratory-Scale Synthesis of Nitriles by Catalysed Dehydration of Amides and Oximes under Flash Vacuum Pyrolysis (FVP) Conditions

Jacqueline A. Campbella, Graham McDougaldb, Hamish McNab*b, Lovat V. C. Rees†b, Richard G. Tyasb
a Syngenta Crop Protection AG, Schwardzwaldallee 215, P.O. Box, 4002 Basel, Switzerland
Fax: +41(61)3238971; e-Mail:;
b School of Chemistry, The University of Edinburgh, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JJ, UK
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Further Information

Publication History

Received 29 June 2007
Publication Date:
21 September 2007 (eFirst)


Dehydration of amides and oximes can be catalysed by 3 Å molecular sieves or by tungsten trioxide under flash vacuum pyrolysis (FVP) conditions. This provides a convenient synthesis of aliphatic, aromatic, and heterocyclic nitriles, generally in excellent yields under mild, neutral, and short contact time conditions.