Oxidant-Free C(sp2)–H Functionalization/C–O Bond Formation: A Kolbe Oxidative Cyclization Process

An anodic oxidation/cyclization of 2-arylbenzoic acids for the synthesis of dibenzopyranones has been developed. The reaction proceeds at room temperature with no oxidant or electrolyte required and exhibits a high atom economy with H2 being the only byproduct. A series of dibenzopyranones was obtained in good to excellent yields. Urolithins A, B, and C are formally synthesized by adopting this method as a key step to demonstrate its synthetic utility.