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Acetic acid esters

Ac-OR, Acetic acid esters, Acetate esters, Acetates

T. W. Green, P. G. M. Wuts, Protective Groups in Organic Synthesis,
Wiley-Interscience, New York, 1999, 150-160, 712-715.



H2O: pH < 1, 100°C pH = 1, RT pH = 4, RT pH = 9, RT pH = 12, RT pH > 12, 100°C
Bases: LDA NEt3, Py t-BuOK Others: DCC SOCl2
Nucleophiles: RLi RMgX RCuLi Enolates NH3, RNH2 NaOCH3
Electrophiles: RCOCl RCHO CH3I Others: :CCl2 Bu3SnH
Reduction: H2 / Ni H2 / Rh Zn / HCl Na / NH3 LiAlH4 NaBH4
Oxidation: KMnO4 OsO4 CrO3 / Py RCOOOH I2, Br2, Cl2 MnO2 / CH2Cl2


4-(N,N-Dimethylamino)pyridine hydrochloride (DMAP·HCl) was used as a recyclable catalyst for the acylation of inert alcohols and phenols under base-free conditions. The catalyst can be reused more than eight times without loss in activity and works with various acylating reagents.
Z. Liu, Y. Liu, Q. Wang, Org. Lett., 2014, 16, 236-239.

Inexpensive phosphoric acid (H3PO4) catalyzes a safe and simple acylation of alcohols with acid anhydrides. In situ-generated diacylated mixed anhydrides are proposed as the active species - acting as efficient catalytic acyl transfer reagents. A 23 g scale synthesis of an ester was demonstrated.
H. Hayashi, S. Yasukochi, T. Sakamoto, M. Hatano, K. Ishihara, J. Org. Chem., 2021, 86, 5197-5212.

Bi(OTf)3 catalyzes mild acylations of alcohols with acid anhydrides. Sterically demanding or tertiary alcohols could be acylated smoothly. Less reactive acylation reagents such as benzoic and pivalic anhydride are also activated. Methanolysis of the unreacted anhydrides into easily separable methyl ester realized quite easy separations of the desired pivaloylated or benzoylated products.
A. Orita, C. Tanahashi, A. Kakuda, J. Otera, J. Org. Chem., 2001, 66, 8926-8934.

Vanadyl triflate efficiently catalyzes a nucleophilic acyl substitution of anhydrides with a myriad array of alcohols, amines, and thiols in high yields and high chemoselectivity. By using mixed-anhydride technique, oleate and peptide syntheses can be achieved.
C.-T. Chen, J.-H. Kuo, C.-H. Li, N. B. Barhate, S.-W. Hon, T.-W. Li, S.-D. Chao, C.-C. Liu, Y.-C. Li, I.-H. Chang, J.-S. Lin, C.-J. Liu, Y.-C. Chou, Org. Lett., 2001, 3, 3729-3732.

Phosphomolybdic acid (PMA) is a simple and efficient catalyst for the acetylation of structurally diverse alcohols, phenols, and amines. Acetylation reactions with acetic anhydride proceed in excellent yield in the presence of a catalytic amount of PMA at ambient temperature within a relatively short reaction time under solvent-free conditions.
S. T. Kadam, S. S. Kim, Synthesis, 2008, 267-268.

Acylation of alcohols, thiols, and sugars were studied with a variety of Lewis acids, and it was found that Cu(OTf)2 was very efficient in catalyzing the reaction under mild conditions in CH2Cl2.
K. L. Chandra, P. Saravan, R. K. Singh, V. K. Singh, Tetrahedron, 2002, 58, 1369-1374.

Copper(II) tetrafluoroborate efficiently catalyzes acetylation of structurally diverse phenols, alcohols, thiols, and amines with stoichiometric amounts of Ac2O under solvent-free conditions at room temperature. Acid-sensitive alcohols are smoothly acetylated without competitive side reactions.
A. K. Chakraborti, R. Gulhane, Shivani, Synthesis, 2004, 111-115.

Various alcohols, thiols, phenols, and amines can be acetylated using acetic anhydride in the presence of catalytic quantity of silver triflate. The method proceeds under mild conditions, does not involve cumbersome workup, and the resulting products are obtained in high yields within a reasonable time.
R. Das, D. Chakraborty, Synthesis, 2011, 1621-1625.

A macroporous polymeric acid catalyst enables a direct esterification of carboxylic acids and alcohols at 50 to 80°C without removal of water to give the corresponding esters with high yield. Flow esterification for the synthesis of biodiesel fuel was also achieved by using a column-packed macroporous acid catalyst under mild conditions.
M. Minakawa, H. Baek, Y. M. A. Yamada, J. W. Han, Y. Uozumi, Org. Lett., 2013, 15, 5798-5801.

Primary and secondary alcohols react with vinyl or isopropenyl acetate at room temperature in the presence of Y5(OiPr)13O as catalyst to give the corresponding esters. In selected cases, the yttrium catalyst promotes a selective O-acylation of amino alcohols without the formation of the amide.
M.-H. Lin, T. V. RajanBabu, Org. Lett., 2000, 2, 997-1000.

Benzylidene 1,1-diacetate is a sustainable and efficient acyl donor for enzymatic acylation of chiral and nonchiral alcohols. Especially, unsaturated acetates can be converted without E/Z isomerization. The acyl donor can be recreated and reused. A dynamic kinetic resolution (DKR) protocol results in chiral acetates in high yields and very high enantiomeric excesses.
D. Koszelewski, A. Brodzka, A. Madej, D. Trzepizur, R. Ostaszewski, J. Org. Chem., 2021, 86, 6331-6342.

An efficient Na2CO3-catalyzed O-acylation of phenols with alkenyl carboxylates as acyl reagents in MeCN provides aryl carboxylates in very good yields.
X.-Y. Zhou, X. Chen, Synlett, 2018, 29, 2321-2325.

Molecular iodine catalyzes acetalation and acetylation of sugars with stoichiometric amounts of enol acetates under solvent-free conditions to give orthogonally protected sugar derivatives in short time and good yields. At lower temperature, it is possible to obtain the acetonide acetate as a single product whereas peracetate is the major product at higher temperature.
D. Mukherjee, B. A. Shah, P. Gupta, S. C. Taneja, J. Org. Chem., 2007, 72, 8965-8969.

Other Syntheses of Acetic Acid Esters

A counterattack protocol for differential acetylative cleavage of phenylmethyl ether allows the reuse of the phenylmethyl moiety as benzyl bromide, thus providing advantages in terms of waste minimization and atom economy. The applicability of this methodology has been extended for solid phase organic reactions with the feasibility of reuse of the solid support.
A. K. Chakraborti, S. V. Chankeshwara, J. Org. Chem., 2009, 74, 1367-1370.

The use of 0.2 eq. of TiCl4 and 1.2 eq. of Ac2O enables a mild direct conversion of THP ethers to acetates.
S. Chandrasekhar, T. Ramachandar, M. V. Reddy, M. Takhi, J. Org. Chem., 2000, 65, 4729-4731.


N,N-diarylammonium pyrosulfate efficiently catalyzes the hydrolysis of esters under organic solvent-free conditions. This reverse micelle-type method is successfully applied to the hydrolysis of various esters without the decomposition of base-sensitive moieties and without any loss of optical purity for α-heterosubstituted carboxylic acids.
Y. Koshikari, A. Sakakura, K. Ishihara, Org. Lett., 2012, 14, 3194-3197.

Acetyl-, benzoyl- and pivoyl-protected alcohols and phenols undergo smooth deacylation in a two-phase system of powdered NaOH and Bu4NHSO4 in THF or CH2Cl2.
R. D. Crouch, J. S. Burger, K. A. Zietek, A. B. Cadwallader, J. E. Bedison, M. M. Smielewska, Synlett, 2003, 991-992.

An unprecedented hydroalumination of C=O bonds catalyzed by zirconocene dichloride enables a site-selective deprotection of peracetylated functional substrates. A mixed metal hydride, with 1:1 zirconium/aluminum stoichiometry, is the reductive species.
T. Courant, M. Gavel, R. M. Q. Renard, V. Gandon, A. Y. P. Joosten, T. Lecourt, J. Org. Chem., 2021, 86, 9280-9288.

A combination of Cp2ZrCl2 and DIBAL-H promotes a regioselective cleavage of primary acetates on a broad scope of substrates, ranging from carbohydrates to terpene derivatives, with a high tolerance toward protecting groups and numerous functionalities found in natural products and bioactive compounds.
M. Gavel, T. Courant, A. Y. P. Joosten, T. Lecourt, Org. Lett., 2019, 21, 1948-1952.