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CHEM 125A: FRESHMAN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II - Lecture 33 - Professor J. Michael McBride

Green Chemistry; Acids and Acid Derivatives

Green chemistry needs new asymmetric reactions and safer, more environmental Mitsunobu reactions. The Mitsunobu mechanism is general and reliable, but atom inefficient, generating almost 30 times as much weight of by-products as of the water it is designed to eliminate. Admirably green processes include autoxidation of aldehydes to carboxylic acids using only O2, and oxidation of alcohols by loss of H2 using a ruthenium catalyst. Relative pKa values of carboxylic acids provide insight into the role of inductive and resonance effects in organic transformations. One analysis suggests that the special acidity of carboxylic acids owes four times as much to inductive as to resonance effects. Carboxylic acids can be prepared both by oxidation and by reduction.

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