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Heterogeneous Phase Alkylation of Phenols Making Use of Phase Transfer Catalysis and Microwave Irradiation

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The benzylation of cresol was studied under liquid-liquid and solid-liquid phase transfer catalytic conditions. Microwave irradiation was useful only in the solid-liquid phase benzylations. Using acetonitrile as the solvent, the benzylations were fully O-selective, but complete conversions were obtained only in the presence of Cs2CO3. There was no need to use an onium salt. In the absence of solvent, an O-selectivity of ca. 90% could be obtained in the presence of an alkali carbonate and an onium salt. The optimum set of conditions was extended to the reaction of other phenol derivatives and alkylating agents.

Keywords: O-alkylation; microwave synthesis; phase transfer catalysis; selectivity

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2009

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  • Letters in Organic Chemistry publishes original letters on all areas of organic chemistry including synthesis, bioorganic, medicinal, natural products, organometallic, supramolecular, molecular recognition and physical organic chemistry. The emphasis is placed on publishing quality papers very rapidly. Letters are processed rapidly and take full advantage of the Internet technology both for the submission and the review of the manuscripts.
    The journal is essential reading for all organic chemists both in academia and industry.

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