3 years ago

Ketone Formation from Carboxylic Acids by Ketonic Decarboxylation: The Exceptional Case of the Tertiary Carboxylic Acids

Ketone Formation from Carboxylic Acids by Ketonic Decarboxylation: The Exceptional Case of the Tertiary Carboxylic Acids
Avelino Corma, Michael Renz, Borja Oliver-Tomas
For the reaction mechanism of the ketonic decarboxylation of two carboxylic acids, a β-keto acid is favored as key intermediate in many experimental and theoretical studies. Hydrogen atoms in the α-position are an indispensable requirement for the substrates to react by following this mechanism. However, isolated observations with tertiary carboxylic acids are not consistent with it and these are revisited and discussed herein. The experimental results obtained with pivalic acid indicate that the ketonic decarboxylation does not occur with this substrate. Instead, it is consumed in alternative reactions such as disintegration into isobutene, carbon monoxide, and water (retro-Koch reaction). In addition, the carboxylic acid is isomerized or loses carbon atoms, which converts the tertiary carboxylic acid into carboxylic acids bearing α-proton atoms. Hence, the latter are suitable to react through the β-keto acid pathway. A second substrate, 2,2,5,5-tetramethyladipic acid, reacted by following the same retro-Koch pathway. The primary product was the monocarboxylic acid 2,2,5-trimethyl-4-hexenoic acid (and its double bond isomer), which might be further transformed into a cyclic enone or a lactone. The ketonic decarboxylation product, 2,2,5,5-tetramethylcyclopentanone was observed in traces (<0.2 % yield). Therefore, it can be concluded that the observed experimental results further support the proposed mechanism for the ketonic decarboxylation via the β-keto acid intermediate. Bond scission over formation: When tertiary carboxylic acids are reacted, a retro-Koch reaction occurs instead of ketonic decarboxylation (see scheme). For the latter, experimental results further support a mechanism that proceeds via the β-keto acid intermediate. The primary retro-Koch product helps to resolve controversial reports on the reaction because it allows the proposal of reasonable pathways to secondary obtained products.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/chem.201702680

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