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

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

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29 Citations (Scopus)


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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    Maytum, H. C., Francos, J., Whatrup, D. J., & Williams, J. M. J. (2010). 1,4-Butanediol as a reducing agent in transfer hydrogenation reactions. Chemistry - An Asian Journal, 5(3), 538-542. https://doi.org/10.1002/asia.200900527