Green chemistry techniques in organic synthesis and catalysis

Author(s): Mindy Levine

 The development of novel synthetic methods that are environmentally benign, use non-toxic solvents, and/or limit the generation of hazardous waste is of growing interest due to the pressing need for environmentally responsible chemical synthesis. Methods to address this need have been developed in recent years, including the use of aqueous solvent systems, the development of solvent-free syntheses, and the use of metal-free catalysis. Reported herein is a new approach, the use of supramolecular host: guest complexation, to enable high-yield, high-impact syntheses. This approach uses β-cyclodextrin, a non-toxic, naturally occurring cyclic oligosaccharide, to facilitate both Diels-Alder and benzylic oxidation reactions under mostly aqueous conditions and provide access to

high-value organic chemistry products. The scope of these reactions, optimized reaction conditions, and mechanistic hypotheses to support the high system performance will also be discussed.

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