The chemical reactions described as reduction of nitro compounds can be facilitated by many different reagents and reaction conditions. Historically, the nitro group was one of the first functional groups to be reduced, due to the ease of nitro-group reduction.
Nitro-groups behave differently whether a neighboring hydrogen is present or not. Thus, reduction conditions can be initially classified by starting materials: aliphatic nitro compounds or aromatic nitro compounds. Secondary classifications are based upon reaction products.
Nitro compounds are typically reduced to oximes using metal salts, such as stannous chloride or chromium(II) chloride. Additionally, catalytic hydrogenation using a controlled amount of hydrogen can generate oximes.
Aromatic nitro compounds
The reduction of aryl nitro compounds can be finely tuned to obtain a different products typically in high yields.
Iron in acidic media (Note: Iron is particularly well suited for this reduction as the reaction conditions are typically gentle and also due to the fact that iron has a high functional group tolerance.)
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