A metal-free aerobic oxidative esterification of aldehydes in the presence of cyanide is described. Various aromatic aldehydes and sterically congested alcohols were amenable to this protocol. In addition, this method could be extended to the preparation of thioesters with a thiol in place of an alcohol. Furthermore, the cyanide-mediated aerobic oxidation of aldehydes was applied to the synthesis of lactones via intramolecular esterification in the absence of an alcohol.
- Aerobic oxidative esterification
- Oxidative lactonization
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