Benzylic, allylic, and aliphatic alcohols are oxidized to aldehydes and ketones in a reaction catalyzed by Keggin-type polyoxomolybdates, PVxMo(12-x)O40-(3+x) (x = 0, 2), with DMSO as a solvent. The oxidation of benzylic alcohols is quantitative within hours and selective, whereas that of allylic alcohols is less selective. Oxidation of aliphatic alcohols is slower but selective. Further mechanistic studies revealed that, for H3PMo12O40 as a catalyst and benzylic alcohols as substrates, the sulfoxide is in fact an oxygen donor in the reaction. Postulated reaction steps as determined from isotopelabeling experiments, kinetic isotope effects, and Hammett plots include (a) sulfoxide activation by complexation to the polyoxometalate and (b) oxygen transfer from the activated sulfoxide and elimination of water from the alcohol. The mechanism is supported by the reaction kinetics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organic Chemistry