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Oxidation of Aromatic Side Chains

Oxidation of Aromatic Side Chains: Introduction

Starting materials

  • Aromatic compounds with alkyl substituents
  • Oxidizing agents

Reaction principle

Benzylic hydrogens are substituted with one oxygen atom and one hydroxyl group, usually under very drastic conditions.

Example:

Fig.1

Application

The reaction is being used in industry for the preparation of benzoic acid

Fig.2

or terephthalic acid.

Fig.3

Co2+ or Mn2+ are used as catalysts in the reaction with elementary oxygen. Alternatively, V2O5 can be used as catalyst.

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