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Photoinduced Carbon Tetrabromide Initiated Aerobic Oxidation of Substituted Toluenes to Carboxylic Acids

Kun Zheng, Xiaoyu Yan, Guofu Zhang, Xinhuan Yan, Xiaoqing Li*, Xiangsheng Xu*

*College of Chemical Engineering, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310014, P. R. of China, Email:,

K. Zheng, X. Yan, G. Zhang, X. Yan, X. Li, X. Xu, Synlett, 2020, 31, 272-274.

DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1691534


The use of CBr4 as initiator enables a mild and metal-free aerobic oxidation of substituted toluenes to carboxylic acids under irradiation from a 400 nm blue light-emitting diode.

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The reaction is inherently explosive in nature because significant concentrations of peroxide and hydroperoxide intermediates are generated. Approriate precautions should be adopted. The reaction should not be scaled up.

Key Words

metal-free synthesis, photochemistry, photooxidation, toluenes, benzoic acids, oxygen

ID: J72-Y2020