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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 10, Number 4
BKCSDE 10(4)
April 20, 1989 

Reducing Characteristics of Potassium Tri-sec-butylborohydride
Nung Min Yoon*, Young Soo Hwang, Hoseok Yang
The approximate rates and stoichiometry of the reaction of excess potassium tri-sec-butylborohydride (Ks-Bu3BH) with selected organic compounds containing representative functional groups were determined under the standard conditions (0℃, THF) in order to define the characteristics of the reagent for selective reductions. Primary alcohols evolve hydrogen in 1 h, but secondary and tertiary alcohols and amines are inert to this reagent. On the other hand, phenols and thiols evolve hydrogen rapidly. Aldehydes and ketones are reduced rapidly and quantitatively to the corresponding alcohols. Reduction of norcamphor gives 99.3% endo- and 0.7% exo-isomer of norboneols. The reagent rapidly reduces cinnamaldehyde to the cinamyl alcohol stage and shows no further uptake of hydride. p-Benzoquinone takes up one hydride rapidly with 0.32 equiv hydrogen evolution and anthraquinone is cleanly reduced to the 9,10-dihydoxyanthracene stage. Carboxylic acids liberate hydrogen rapidly and quantitatively, however further reduction does not occur. Anhydrides utilize 2 equiv of hydride and acyl chlorides are reduced to the corresponding alcohols rapidly. Lactones are reduced to the diol stage rapidly, whereas esters are reduced moderately (3-6 h). Terminal epoxides are rapidly reduced to the more substituted alcohols, but internal epoxides are reduced slowly. Primary and tertiary amides are inert to this reagent and nitriles are reduced very slowly. 1-Nitropropane evolves hydrogen rapidly without reduction and nitrobenzene is reduced to the azoxybenzene stage, whereas azobenzene and azoxybenzene are inert. Cyclohexanone oxime evolves hydrogen without reduction. Phenyl isocyanate utilizes 1 equiv of hydride to proceed to formanilide stage. Pyridine and quinoline are reduced slowly, however pyridine N-oxide takes up 1.5 equiv of hydride in 1 hr. Disulfides are rapidly reduced to the thiol stage, whereas sulfide, sulfoxide, sulfonic acid and sulfone are practically inert to this reagent. Primary alkyl bromide and iodide are reduced rapidly, but primary alkyl chloride, cyclohexyl bromide and cyclohexyl tosylate are reduced slowly.
382 - 388
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