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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 31, Number 10
BKCSDE 31(10)
October 20, 2010 

Effect of Alkali Metal Ions on Alkaline Ethanolysis of 2-Pyridyl and 4-Pyridyl Benzoates in Anhydrous Ethanol
Jae In Lee, Ji Sun Kang, Song I Kim, Ik Hwan Um*
Ethanolysis, Metal ion catalysis, Electrophilicity, Nucleofugality, Transition state
Pseudo-first-order rate constants (kobsd) have been measured for nucleophilic substitution reactions of 2-pyridyl benzoate 5 with alkali metal ethoxides (EtOM, M = Li, Na, K) in anhydrous ethanol. The plots of kobsd vs. [EtOM]o are curved upwardly but linear in the excess presence of 18-crown-6-ether (18C6) with significant decreased kobsd values in the reaction with EtOK. The kobsd value for the reaction of 5 with a given EtONa concentration decreases steeply upon addition of 15-crown-5-ether (15C5) to the reaction medium up to ca. [15C5]/[EtONa]o = 1, and remains nearly constant thereafter, indicating that M+ ions catalyze the reaction in the absence of the complexing agents. Dissection kobsd into kEtO- and kEtOM, i.e., the second-order rate constants for the reaction with the dissociated EtO- and the ion-paired EtOM, respectively has revealed that ion-paired EtOM is 3.2 - 4.6 times more reactive than dissociated EtO-. It has been concluded that M+ ions increase the electrophilicity of the reaction center through a 6-membered cyclic transition state. This idea has been examined from the corresponding reactions of 4-pyridyl benzoate 6, which cannot form such a 6-membered cyclic transition state.
2929 - 2933
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