"A Novel Oxidizing Reagent Based on Potassium Ferrate (VI)"

Lionel Delaude and Pierre Laszlo

journal cover
          source: Journal of Organic Chemistry
            year: 1996
          volume: 61
      first page: 6360
       last page: 6370
             doi: 10.1021/jo960633p

graphical abstract

Abstract: A new, efficient preparation has been devised for potassium ferrate(VI) (K2FeO4). The ability of this high-valent iron salt for oxidizing organic substrates in nonaqueous media was studied. Using benzyl alcohol as a model, the catalytic activity of a wide range of microporous adsorbents was ascertained. Among numerous solid supports of the aluminosilicate type, the K10 montmorillonite clay was found to be best at achieving quantitative formation of benzaldehyde, without any overoxidation to benzoic acid. The roles of the various parameters (reaction time and temperature, nature of the solvent, method of preparation of the solid reagent) were investigated. The evidence points to a polar reaction mechanism. The ensuing procedure was applied successfully, at room temperature, to oxidation of a series of alcohols to aldehydes and ketones, to oxidative coupling of thiols to disulfides, and to oxidation of nitrogen derivatives. At 75 C, the reagent has the capability of oxidizing both activated and nonactivated hydrocarbons. Toluene is turned into benzyl alcohol (and benzaldehyde). Cycloalkanes are also oxidized, in significant (30-40%) yields, to the respective cycloalkanols (and cycloalkanones). Thus, potassium ferrate, used in conjunction with an appropriate heterogeneous catalyst, is a strong and environmentally friendly oxidant.

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