Harnessing Applied Potential: Selective β-Hydrocarboxylation of Substituted Olefins

B. Buckley and A. Malkov report a new electrosynthetic route to the selective β-hydrocarboxylation of alkenes.

The carboxylate moiety is prevalent in nature, and a wide range of biologically active drugs and bioactive compounds are carboxylic acids or derivatives. However, the incorporation of a carboxylic function in a selective manner, from low-value materials such as alkenes, remains a significant challenge for organic chemists. In particular, sustainable and straightforward methods for selective carboxylation are underdeveloped. Dr. Benjamin Buckley, Professor Andrei Malkov and team from Loughborough University (UK) have recently reported a new electrosynthetic approach to the selective β-hydrocarboxylation of alkenes with inexpensive and abundant carbon dioxide, thus avoiding the use of toxic, flammable carbon monoxide that is the current reagent of choice for this purpose.

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