A better understanding of the use of the 18-crown-6 ether with KOH in mechanochemical reactions

March 10, 2023.

A collaboration with Hervé Geneste from AbbVie elucidated the benefits of using 18-crown-6 together with KOH.

New J. Chem., 2023, Advance Article | accepted man.

Published in the New Journal of Chemistry, mechanochemical reactions using KOH are often facilitated by an equivalent of 18-crown-6 ether in the reaction mixture. While this diminishes atom economy, it may be the only option to achieve the target reaction. We show this on two examples: one where the use of KOH is catalytic and one where it is a reactant. The crown ether forms a complex with the potassium cations minimising ion pairing with the hydroxide, which then becomes more reactive. This is also a coupled reaction: from the reaction of KOH, the nascent potassium reacts with 18-crown-6 which stabilises it driving the reaction forward.

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