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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 4, Number 1
January 20, 1983 

Reaction of Lithium n-Butylborohydride with Selected Organic Compounds Containing Representative Functional Groups
Chongsuh Pyun, Jong Chan Son, Nung Min Yoon
Lithium n-butylborohydride was prepared from borane-dimethylsulfide (BMS) and n-butyllithium, and the approximate rates and stoichiometrics of its reactions with selected organic compounds containing representative functional groups were studied in THF at room temperature. Phenol and benzenetiol liberated hydrogen quickly and quantitatively, and the reactions of primary alcohols, 2,6-di-tert-butylphenol and 1-hexanethiol liberated hydrogen quantitatively within 3 hrs, whereas the reactions of secondary and tertiary alcohols were very slow. Aldehydes and ketones were reduced rapidly and quantitatively to the corresponding alcohols. Cinnamaldehyde utilized 1 equiv. of hydride rapidly, suggesting the reduction to cinnamyl alcohol. Carboxylic acids evolved 1 equiv. of hydrogen rapidly and further reduction was not observed. Anhydrides utilized 2 equiv. of hydride rapidly but further hydride uptake was very slow, showing a half reduction. Acid chlorides were reduced to the alcohol stage very rapidly. All the esters examined were reduced to the corresponding alcohol rapidly. Lactones were also reduced rapidly. Epoxides took up 1 equiv. of hydride at a moderate rate to be reduced to the corresponding alcohols. Nitriles and primary amides were inert to this hydride system, whereas tertiary amide underwent slow reduction. Nitroethane and nitrobenzene were reduced slowly, however azobenzene and azoxybenzene were quite inert. Cyclohexanone oxime evolved 1 equiv. of hydrogen rapidly, but no further reduction was observed. Phenyl isocyanate and pyridine N-oxide were proceeded slowly, showing 1.74 and 1.53 hydride uptake, respectively in 24 hours. Diphenyl disulfide was reduced rapidly, whereas di-n-butyl disulfide, sulfone and sulfonic acids were inert or sluggish. n-Hexyl iodide and benzyl bromide reacted rapidly, but n-octyl bromide, n-octyl chloride, and benzyl chloride reacted very slowly.
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