Organic Chemistry Portal



Dehydrogenative Synthesis of Carboxylic Acids from Primary Alcohols and Hydroxide Catalyzed by a Ruthenium N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complex

Carola Santilli, Ilya S. Makarov, Peter Fristrup and Robert Madsen*

*Department of Chemistry, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark, Email:

C. Santilli, I. S. Makarov, P. Fristrup, R. Madsen, J. Org. Chem., 2016, 81, 9931-9938.

DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.6b02105 (free Supporting Information)


A dehydrogenative reaction of primary alcohols in the presence of hydroxide and the ruthenium complex [RuCl2(IPr)(p-cymene)] as catalyst provides carboxylic acids. The use of toluene enables a simple product isolation by precipitation and extraction. A range of benzylic and saturated aliphatic alcohols containing halide and (thio)ether substituents can be converted, while olefins and ester groups are not compatible.

see article for more examples

Key Words

carboxylic acids

ID: J42-Y2016