Electrochemical Methods

Electrochemical methods have a long history in organic chemistry dating back (1849!) to the original Kolbe electrolytic dimerization of carboxylic acids. Unfortunately, most organic chemists have considered this an esoteric area as far as synthetic applications are concerned, even though useful selectivity principles have been delineated in considerable detail, and a large number of synthetic applications have been published. Economic advantages of electrochemical methods, in spite of the commercialization of the Monsanto process for the hydrodimerization of acrylonitrile, have not been fully appreciated. Publication of several highly readable books and articles that deal with experimental procedures and listing of equipment suppliers should prompt organic chemists to consider electrochemical methods in synthesis. A list of such references that deal with the practical aspects of electrochemical synthetic methods is given below.1-9

1. Fry, A. J. Aldrichim. Acta 1993, 26, 3.
2. Shono, T. Electroorganic Synthesis; Academic: London, 1991. A volume in the series Best Synthetic Methods. This book is highly recommended for the novice; it contains detailed discussions of apparatus, techniques, procedures, and essential theory.
3. Organic Electrochemistry, 3rd ed.; Lund, H.; Baizer, M. M., Eds.; Dekker: New York, 1991.
4. Fry, A. J. Synthetic Organic Electrochemistry; Wiley: New York, 1989.
5. Degner, D. Top. Curr. Chem. 1988, 148, 1.
6. Kariv-Miller, E.; Pacut, R. I.; Lehman, G. K. Top. Curr. Chem. 1988, 148, 97.
7. Torii, S.; Tanaka, H.; Inokuchi, T. Top. Curr. Chem. 1988, 148, 153.
8. Shono, T. Top. Curr. Chem. 1988, 148, 131.
9. Shono, T. Electroorganic Chemistry as a New Tool in Organic Synthesis; Springer: Berlin, 1984.

T. V. (Babu) RajanBabu

The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

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