July 5, 2016

Considering organic mechanisms and the optimization of current flow in an electrochemical oxidative condensation reaction

Oxidative condensation reactions are potentially valuable tools for the valorization of lignin derived materials. They are used in the two step conversion of raw sawdust into benzothiazole and benzimidazole ring skeletons. The reactions are also excellent candidates for use in paired electrochemical reactions that utilize the cathodic half-reaction to make the hydrogen gas needed for the conversion of lignin derived materials into indanones. However, the optimized oxidative condensation reactions used to date require the use of low currents that inhibit their utility in paired electrochemical reactions. In this manuscript, the optimization of current for the oxidative condensation is examined and this optimization is used to illustrate how the optimization of an electrochemical reaction relies on a traditional look at organic mechanisms.

Derek T. Rensing , Bichlien H. Nguyen and Kevin D. Moeller * 
Received 3rd June 2016 , Accepted 3rd July 2016
First published on 5th July 2016