A simple process for the synthesis of phenyl-2-propanone is described based on a one-step electrochemical acylation reaction, involving the direct electroreductive coupling of benzyl bromides and acetic anhydride in a micro-flow electrolysis cell, equipped with micro-gap Pt electrodes. The technique offered yields typically in excess of 80% with corresponding high levels of product selectivity. The electrochemical process was also scaled-up by connecting four identical micro electrochemical cells in parallel to increase product throughput.
He, P., Watts, P., Marken, F., & Haswell, S. J. (2007). Electrosynthesis of phenyl-2-propanone derivatives from benzyl bromides and acetic anhydride in an unsupported micro-flow cell electrolysis process. Green Chemistry, 9(1), 20-22. https://doi.org/10.1039/b610415k