A Simple Conversion of Amines Into Monosubstituted Ureas in Organic and Aqueous Solvents

Qi Liu, Nathan W. Luedtke and Yitzhak Tor


A versatile and highly efficient synthesis of monosubstituted ureas is described. The reaction of an amine with 4-nitrophenyl-N-benzylcarbamate, followed by hydrogenolysis, provides the corresponding urea in high yield and purity. This carbamate can also be employed for the derivatization of water-soluble polyamines (e.g. aminoglycoside antibiotics), while other reagents (e.g. benzylisocyanate) fail to give the desired products in any significant yield.

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