Green, Catalytic Oxidation of Alcohols in Water

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Science  03 Mar 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5458, pp. 1636-1639
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5458.1636

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Alcohol oxidations are typically performed with stoichiometric reagents that generate heavy-metal waste and are usually run in chlorinated solvents. A water-soluble palladium(II) bathophenanthroline complex is a stable recyclable catalyst for the selective aerobic oxidation of a wide range of alcohols to aldehydes, ketones, and carboxylic acids in a biphasic water-alcohol system. The use of water as a solvent and air as the oxidant makes the reaction interesting from both an economic and environmental point of view.

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