A number of important aromatic carboxylic acids precursors, or intermediates in the syntheses of natural products, are converted into methyl esters and reduced to the corresponding primary alcohols using a sodium borohydride-THF-methanol system. The alcohols are obtained in 70–92% yields in 2–5 hours, in a pure state. This two-step procedure not only provides a better alternative to aluminum hydride reduction of acids but also allows the selective reduction of esters in presence of acids, amides, nitriles or nitro functions which are not affected under these conditions.
Volume 135, 2023
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