Flash vacuum pyrolysis of benzylidene halides, benzotrihalides and aryl halides over magnesium

R. Alan Aitken, Philip K. G. Hodgson, Adebayo O. Oyewale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Flash vacuum pyrolysis at 600 °C through glass wool coated with freshly sublimed magnesium is examined as a preparative method for dehalogenative coupling in organic synthesis. Substituted benzylidene chlorides give predominantly the corresponding stilbenes and in some cases these are readily isolated in pure form. With an ortho-halogen substituent, additional cyclisation gives phenanthrenes but the method is not compatible with the presence of several reactive groups. An ortho-methoxy substituent leads to unexpected formation of mono- and dimethyl products. With 1,4-bis(dihalomethyl)benzenes, halogenated polymers are deposited directly from the gas phase via generation of halogenated p-xylylenes. The 1,2- and 1,3-isomers lead respectively to benzocyclobutadiene, isolated as a dimer, and to pyrene. The 1,4-bis(trihalomethyl)benzenes give more highly halogenated polymers directly from the gas phase via halogenated p-xylylenes. While halobenzenes generally give the corresponding benzenes and biphenyls, 1,2-dihalobenzenes additionally produce triphenylene in preparatively useful yield by a process not involving intermediacy of free benzyne.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)618-630
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of analytical and applied pyrolysis
Early online date30 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2017


  • Flash vacuum pyrolysis
  • Dehalogenation
  • Coupling
  • Polymers


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