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Radical Addition of Alkyl Halides to Formaldehyde in the Presence of Cyanoborohydride as a Radical Mediator. A New Protocol for Hydroxymethylation Reaction

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journal contribution
posted on 18.01.2012 by Takuji Kawamoto, Takahide Fukuyama, Ilhyong Ryu
Hydroxymethylation of alkyl halides was achieved using paraformaldehyde as a radical C1 synthon in the presence of tetrabutylammonium cyanoborohydride as a hydrogen source. The reaction proceeds via a radical chain mechanism involving an alkyl radical addition to formaldehyde to form an alkoxy radical, which abstracts hydrogen from a hydroborate anion.