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1‑Methyl-1,4-cyclohexadiene as a Traceless Reducing Agent for the Synthesis of Catechols and Hydroquinones

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journal contribution
posted on 01.10.2019, 21:29 by Andrea Baschieri, Riccardo Amorati, Luca Valgimigli, Letizia Sambri
Pro-aromatic and volatile 1-methyl-1,4-cyclohexadiene (MeCHD) was used for the first time as a valid H-atom source in an innovative method to reduce ortho or para quinones to obtain the corresponding catechols and hydroquinones in good to excellent yields. Notably, the excess of MeCHD and the toluene formed as the oxidation product can be easily removed by evaporation. In some cases, trifluoroacetic acid as a catalyst was added to obtain the desired products. The reaction proceeds in air and under mild conditions, without metal catalysts and sulfur derivatives, resulting in an excellent and competitive method to reduce quinones. The mechanism is attributed to a radical reaction triggered by a hydrogen atom transfer from MeCHD to quinones, or, in the presence of trifluoroacetic acid, to a hydride transfer process.