A metal-free procedure for the hydrogenative reduction of substituted N-heteroaromatics has been developed by using hydrosilanes as reducing agents. The optimized conditions were successfully applied to the reactions of quinolines, quinoxalines, and quinoline N -oxides. They were also effective for the reduction of quinolines bearing amino or hydroxy groups, where H 2 was evolved through dehydrogenative silylation of the amine or hydroxy moieties. Preliminary mechanistic studies revealed that the initial step in the catalytic cycle involves 1,4-addition of the hydrosilane to the quinoline to give a 1,4-dihydroquinoline; this is followed by (transfer) hydrogenation to deliver the tetrahydroquinoline as the final product.
- Lewis acids