The synthesis of new copolymers containing amino and heterocyclic ligands and their use for anchoring Pd and Rh species is described. The supported catalysts are effective for the hydrogenation of alkenes, diene, alkynes, and nitrobenzene under very mild conditions. The catalysts have been characterized by chemical analysis, particle size measurement, IR, and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Relative reactivities and the effects of substrate structure, solvents, catalyst loading, anchoring ligands, metal species, and particle size on the rates of hydrogenation have been determined using a wide variety of substrates. The kinetics of hydrogenation have been analyzed using concepts suitable under slurry reaction conditions. Comparisons between different oxidation states of the same metal and between different metal species have also been made. The recycling efficiencies of the catalysts have been determined and found to be very good. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.