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alpha-monodeuterated benzyl alcohols and phosphobetaines from reactions of aromatic aldehydes with a water / D2O-soluble phosphine

Titlealpha-monodeuterated benzyl alcohols and phosphobetaines from reactions of aromatic aldehydes with a water / D2O-soluble phosphine
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsMoiseev, DV, James, BR, Hu, TQ
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Volume45
Pagination10338-10346
Date PublishedDec
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0020-1669
KeywordsALIPHATIC ALDEHYDES, BRIGHTNESS STABILIZING AGENTS, CONDENSATION REACTIONS, CRYSTAL-STRUCTURE, HYDROGENATION, LIGNIN MODEL COMPOUNDS, mechanical pulps, METHIDE, NUCLEOPHILIC-ADDITION, P-QUINONE, PHOSPHONIUM SALTS
Abstract

With the aim of learning more about the bleaching action of pulps by (hydroxymethyl) phosphines, we reacted several benzaldehydes, containing MeO, Me, OH, or halogen substituents, with tris(3-hydroxypropyl) phosphine, [HO(CH2)(3)](3)P, in aqueous solution at 90 degrees C under argon. Effective reduction of the aldehydes to the corresponding benzyl alcohols with concomitant oxidation of the phosphine to the phosphine oxide takes place, the reaction proceeding via an initially formed phosphonium species. When the reactions are carried out in D2O, the benzyl alcohol product from 3,4-dimethoxybenzaldehyde contains one deuterium atom at the benzyl-carbon atom, consistent with the last step of the mechanism involving a carbanion intermediate. With syringaldehyde (3,5-dimethoxy-4-hydroxy-benzaldehyde), the reduction product (syringyl alcohol) is more reactive toward the phosphine than is the starting aldehyde, and a zwitterionic, phosphobetaine product is formed. In D2O, the zwitterion benzyl protons and protons of the hydroxypropyl-CH2 adjacent to the P atom undergo H/D exchange via presumed phosphorus ylide intermediates. Under the same aqueous reaction conditions, tris(3-hydroxypropyl) phosphine, [HO(CH2)(3)](3)P (THPP), does not undergo redox reactions with aliphatic aldehydes but simply promotes a base-catalyzed self-condensation (aldol) reaction. THPP reduction of an aromatic ketone is sluggish, presumably because the carbonyl C-atom is less electrophilic than that present in an aromatic aldehyde.

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