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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Claisen condensation

The overall reaction of the classic Claisen condensation.
The Claisen condensation (not to be confused with the Claisen rearrangement) is a carbon-carbon bond forming reaction that occurs between two esters or one ester and another carbonyl compound in the presence of a strong base, resulting in a β-keto ester or a β-diketone. It is named after Rainer Ludwig Claisen, who first published his work on the reaction in 1881.


At least one of the reagents must be enolizable (have an α-proton and be able to undergo deprotonation to form the enolate anion). There are a number of different combinations of enolizable and nonenolizable carbonyl compounds that form a few different types of Claisen condensations.
The base used must not interfere with the reaction by undergoing nucleophilic substitution or addition with a carbonyl carbon. For this reason, the conjugate sodium alkoxide base of the alcohol formed (e.g. sodium ethoxide if ethanol is formed) is often used, since the alkoxide is regenerated. In mixed Claisen condensations, a non-nucleophilic base such as lithium diisopropylamide, or LDA, may be used, since only one compound is enolizable. LDA cannot be used in the classic Claisen or Dieckmann condensations, since virtually all ester will be converted to ester enolate and condensation will not occur.
The alkoxy portion of the ester must be a good leaving group. Methyl and ethyl esters, which yield the methoxy and ethoxy leaving groups, respectively, are usually used.


Claisen ethyl acetate.png
The classic Claisen condensation, where only one enolizable ester is used.
Mixed claisen example.png
The mixed (or "crossed") Claisen condensation, where an enolizable ester or ketone and a nonenolizable ester are used.
Dieckmann example.png
The Dieckmann condensation, where a molecule with two ester groups reacts intramolecularly, forming a cyclic β-keto ester. In this case, the ring formed must not be strained, usually a 5- or 6-membered chain or ring.


See the mechanism
In the first step of the mechanism, an α-proton is removed by a strong base, resulting in the formation an enolate anion, which is made relatively stable by the delocalization of electrons. Next, the carbonyl carbon of the (other) ester is nucleophilically attacked by the enolate anion. The alkoxy group is then eliminated (resulting in (re)generation of the alkoxide), and the alkoxide removes the newly-formed doubly α-proton to form a new, highly resonance-stabilized enolate anion. Aqueous acid (e.g. sulfuric acid or phosphoric acid) is added in the final step to neutralize the enolate and any base still present. The newly-formed β-keto ester or β-diketone is then isolated. Note that the reaction requires a stoichiometric amount of base as the removal of the doubly α-proton thermodynamically drives the otherwise endergonic reaction.

Stobbe condensation

The Stobbe condensation is a modification specific for the diethyl ester of succinic acid requiring less strong bases. An example is its reaction with benzophenone:
Stobbe condensation
A reaction mechanism which explains the formation of both an ester group and a carboxylic acid group is centered around a lactone intermediate (5):
Stobbe condensation mechanism

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for providing information on Claisen condensation.In chemistry there are different type of reactions and their phenomenon.