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Methyl Salicylate as a Selective Methylation Agent for the Esterification of Carboxylic Acids

Si Chen, Lei Jia, Xiaonan Li, Meiming Luo*

*Key Laboratory of Green Chemistry & Technology of Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064, P. R. of China, Email:

S. Chen, L. Jia, X. Li, M. Luo, Synthesis, 2014, 46, 263-268.

DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1340285


Methyl salicylate is a selective and inexpensive methylating agent for the esterification of carboxylic acids with a wide range of functional group tolerance. The intramolecular hydrogen bonds between the carboxylate and hydroxyl groups in methyl salicylate are essential for the transformation. Allyl, benzyl, methallyl, and propargyl salicylates can also be used as alkylating agents for the preparation of the corresponding alkyl carboxylates.

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Key Words

carboxylic acid, esterification, esters, alkylation, methyl salicylate

ID: J66-Y2014