Kolbe electrolysis

The Kolbe electrolysis or Kolbe reaction is an organic reaction named after Hermann Kolbe. The Kolbe reaction is formally a decarboxylative dimerisation of two carboxylic acids (or carboxylate ions). The overall reaction is:

Electrólisis de Kolbe.png

If a mixture of two different carboxylates are used, all combinations of them are generally seen as the organic product structures:

3 R1COO + 3 R2COO → R1−R1 + R1−R2 + R2−R2 + 6 CO2 + 6 e

The reaction mechanism involves a two-stage radical process: electrochemical decarboxylation gives a radical intermediate, which combine to form a covalent bond. As an example, electrolysis of acetic acid yields ethane and carbon dioxide:

CH3COOH → CH3COO → CH3COO· → CH3· + CO2
2CH3· → CH3CH3

Another example is the synthesis of 2,7-dimethyl-2,7-dinitrooctane from 4-methyl-4-nitrovaleric acid:

Kolbe electrolysis, synthesis of 2,7-Dimethyl-2,7-dinitrooctane

Further reading

  • Kolbe, Hermann (1848). "Zersetzung der Valeriansäure durch den elektrischen Strom" [Decomposition of valeric acid by an electric current]. Annalen der Chemie und Pharmacie. 64 (3): 339–341. doi:10.1002/jlac.18480640346.
  • Kolbe, Hermann (1849). "Untersuchungen über die Elektrolyse organischer Verbindungen" [Investigations of the electrolysis of organic compounds]. Annalen der Chemie und Pharmacie. 69 (3): 257–294. doi:10.1002/jlac.18490690302.

See also


This page was last updated at 2022-01-28 16:32 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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