Electrocatalytic alcohol oxidation by a molecular iron complex

TitleElectrocatalytic alcohol oxidation by a molecular iron complex
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsKuiry, H, Das, D, Das, S, Chakraborty, S, Chandra, B, Gupta, SSen
JournalFaraday Discussions
Date PublishedMAY
Type of ArticleArticle

An efficient electrochemical method for the selective oxidation of alcohols to their corresponding aldehydes/ketones using a biomimetic iron complex, [(bTAML)Fe-III-OH2](-), as the redox mediator in an undivided electrochemical cell with inexpensive carbon and nickel electrodes using water as an oxygen source is reported. The substrate scope also includes alcohols that contain O and N heteroatoms in the scaffold, which are well tolerated under these reaction conditions. Mechanistic studies show the involvement of a high-valent Fe-V(O) species, [(bTAML)Fe-V(O)](-), formed via PCET (overall 2H(+)/2e(-)) from [(bTAML)Fe-III-OH2](-) at 0.77 V (vs. Fc(+)/Fc). Moreover, electrokinetic studies of the oxidation of C-H bonds indicate a second-order reaction, with the C-H abstraction by Fe-V(O) being the rate-determining step. The overall mechanism, studied using linear free energy relationships and radical clocks, indicates a ``net hydride'' transfer, leading to the oxidation of the alcohol to the corresponding aldehyde or ketone. When the reaction was carried out at pH > 11, the reaction could be carried out at a similar to 500 mV lower potential than that at pH 8, albeit with reduced reaction rates. The reactive intermediate involved at pH > 11 is the corresponding one-electron oxidized [(bTAML)Fe-IV(O)](2-) species.

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Chemical Engineering & Process Development
Web of Science (WoS)

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