To test the potential of heterogeneous catalysts for the nylon-6 synthesis from 6-aminocapronitrile, a number of zeolites, aluminum silicate, and metal oxides were tested as catalysts for the model reaction of pentanenitrile with water and hexylamine to N-hexylpentanamide. All zeolitic and aluminum silicate systems showed an insufficient performance, while the metal oxides (TiO2, ZrO2, Nb2O5) showed very promising results. The kinetic behavior of the metal oxides was further investigated. First the nitrile was catalytically hydrolyzed to the terminal amide and subsequently the amidation of the hexylamine occurred. To polymerize 6-aminocapronitrile into nylon-6, more than 99 % nitrile conversion was required to obtain a high-molecular-weight polymer. Pentanenitrile conversions larger than 99 % can be obtained within six hours, at 230 °C, by using ZrO2 as the catalyst. A kinetic study (by using IR spectroscopy) on the behavior of the metal oxides demonstrated that the adsorbed nitrile was catalytically hydrolyzed at the surface, but remained tightly bound to the surface. Zirconia-catalyzed polymerizations of 6-amino-capronitrile demonstrated that high-molecular-weight nylon-6 is feasible by using this route.