Authors:Tsuneo Kashiwagi, Fumihiro Amemiya, Toshio Fuchigami, and Mahito Atobe
We have successfully demonstrated that a microflow reactor is extremely useful in controlling reactions involving an unstable o-benzoquinone. As a model reaction, Michael addition reaction between o-benzoquinone generated from electrochemical oxidation of catechol and benzenethiols was employed. This reaction system enables selective oxidation of catechol avoiding the oxidation of benzenethiol, although these oxidation potentials are close to each other. The examination of several reaction conditions indicated that the key features of the method are an effective o-benzoquinone generation and its rapid use for the following reaction without decomposition in a microflow system. In addition, cyclic voltammetry measurements elucidated that catechol concentration and selection of anode material were crucial factors for effective o-quinone generation.