$$\ce{R-NO2 +C2H5OH + H2 (g)->[Pt/Pd/Ni] R-NH_2}$$

The above equation represents catalytic reduction of nitro group to amine. What is the role of ethanol in it?

I understand that $\ce{Pt/Pd/Ni}$ plays an important role as reducing agent and hydrogen gas replaces oxygen atoms. But, I'm not able to understand the role of ethanol. Can someone help me with this?


closed as off-topic by Todd Minehardt, Mithoron, Jan, airhuff, Tyberius Dec 13 '17 at 5:26

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Solvent? You're missing the actual reductant, which is presumably hydrogen gas. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Dec 13 '17 at 0:28
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Provide conditions. Ethanol may be the reductant. $\endgroup$ – user55119 Dec 13 '17 at 0:48
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    $\begingroup$ The above equation does not represent the catalytic reduction of a nitro compound to an amine! As mentioned by @orthocresol, you're missing the hydrogen gas! I've done the reaction very often with nitro arenes. Ethanol as a solvent is great because it dissolves both starting materials and products (only the catalyst, e.g. Pd/C is suspended and can be filtered off later). It is cheap, can be removed easily on a rotavap and, in contrast to methanol, isn't overly harmful. $\endgroup$ – Klaus-Dieter Warzecha Dec 13 '17 at 11:40
  • $\begingroup$ I'm terribly sorry for not mentioning Hydrogen. I did miss a really important reactant there. And thank you @Klaus-DieterWarzecha for making me understand the role of ethanol as a solvent. $\endgroup$ – Sashank Sriram Dec 13 '17 at 13:23
  • $\begingroup$ Note that Pt/Pd/Ni is definitely a catalyst here and should be denoted differently (not as reactant). I suppose the same goes for the ethanol (solvent), but since it's a part of a question, I left it as it is, but still the reaction is incomplete. Is there water among the products? $\endgroup$ – andselisk Dec 22 '17 at 4:53

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