A simple silver-catalyzed protocol has been developed for the acceptorless dehydrogenation of primary alcohols into carboxylic acids and hydrogen gas. The procedure uses 2.5 % Ag2 CO3 and 2.5-3 equiv of KOH in refluxing mesitylene to afford the potassium carboxylate which is then converted into the acid with HCl. The reaction can be applied to a variety of benzylic and aliphatic primary alcohols with alkyl and ether substituents, and in some cases halide, olefin, and ester functionalities are also compatible with the reaction conditions. The dehydrogenation is believed to be catalyzed by silver nanoparticles that are formed in situ under the reaction conditions.
- Carboxylic acids