A new chiral rhodium catalyst with α,α-trehalose-derived phosphine-phosphinite (α,α-TREHAPPN) ligand, [(TREHAPPN)Rh(cod)]BF48 has been prepared. This catalyst is soluble in water and is an effective chiral catalyst for asymmetric hydrogenation of N-acyldehydroamino acids in aqueous media to give enantiomerically enriched α-amino acid derivatives with R configuration. The simple decantation allows retrieval of the catalyst from the reaction mixture, the recovered catalyst being re-used without marked loss of enantioselectivity. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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