The N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) catalyzed transformylation has been developed for the conversion of 1°, 2°, and 3° alcohols to the corresponding formates. The reaction employs low catalyst loadings and methyl formate as the formyl transfer reagent. The scope of the reaction is broad with 23 examples reported with good yields (59-96%). The reaction is insensitive to common nitrogen and oxygen protecting groups and can be achieved in the presence of a number of heterocycles.
- formate synthesis
- N-heterocyclic carbene catalysis