1,4-Butanediol as a reducing agent in transfer hydrogenation reactions

H C Maytum, J Francos, D J Whatrup, J M J Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (SciVal)


1,4-Butanediol is able to deliver two equivalents of H-2 in hydrogen-transfer reactions to ketones, imines, and alkenes. Unlike simple alcohols, which establish equilibrium in the reduction of ketones, 1,4-butanediol acts essentially irreversibly owing to the formation of butyrolactone, which acts as a thermodynamic sink. It is therefore not necessary to use 1,4-butanediol in great excess in order to achieve reduction reactions. In addition, allylic alcohols are reduced to saturated alcohols through an isomerization/reduction sequence using a ruthenium catalyst with 1,4-butanediol as the reducing agent. Imines and alkenes are also reduced under similar conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-542
Number of pages5
JournalChemistry - An Asian Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


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