Attempts were made to minimize the amounts of catalyst and solvent in the NHC-catalyzed benzoin reactions of solid aldehydes. In some case, solid-to-solid conversions proceeded in the solvent-free NHC-catalyzed benzoin reactions. Even if a mixture of the substrate, N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) precursor, and inorganic base was initially a powdery solid, the reaction did proceed at reaction temperature lower than the melting points of each compound. The solid mixture partially melted or became a slurry or suspension in the meantime. We call this solid/liquid mixture a semisolid state. The reaction giving an optically active product was faster than that giving a racemic mixture of the same product. Melting-point depression was observed for a series of mixtures of the substrate and product in different substrate/product ratios. Solvent-free solid-to-solid conversions were accelerated by the formation of a semisolid state resulting from the melting-point depression of the solid substrate accompanied by the product formation. In the case of solid substrates with high melting points, melting-point depression was useless, and the addition of a small amount of solvent was needed. The first total synthesis of isodarparvinol B was achieved via the NHC-catalyzed intramolecular benzoin reaction using a small amount of solvent as an additive.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)