Dihydroxylation of olefins using air as the terminal oxidant

Christian Döbler, Gerald M. Mehltretter, Uta Sundermeier, Matthias Beller

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A study of the osmium-catalyzed dihydroxylation of various olefins using air as the stoichiometric oxidant is described. Dihydroxylation takes place smoothly at an air pressure of 20 bar, at 50°C and pH 10.4. In the presence of dihydroquinine or dihydroquinidine derivatives (Sharpless ligands) asymmetric dihydroxylations occur with only slightly lower enantioselectivities compared to the classical K3[Fe(CN)6] reoxidation system. In the case of stilbene the solvent system is crucial in determining the chemoselectivity of the reaction. The first example of a selective metal catalyzed oxidative cleavage of an olefin with air to give aldehydes is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-76
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Organometallic Chemistry
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Air
  • Asymmetric dihydroxylation
  • Osmium
  • Oxidation


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