Carbonyl Desaturation: Where Does Catalysis Stand?

Samer Gnaim, Julien C. Vantourout, Fabien Serpier, Pierre Georges Echeverria, Phil S. Baran

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


There is a strong parallel between simple alcohol oxidation and carbonyl desaturation from both strategic and tactical vantage points. As they both seek to extract hydrogen from an organic substrate, they are deceptively simple looking transformations that have been addressed over the past 70+ years through stoichiometric means. The past decade has seen an intensifying level of interest in rendering both of these simple reactions catalytic. In this Perspective, recent advances from the past 5 years are highlighted featuring both transition-metal-catalyzed and metal-free approaches to carbonyl desaturation. Through a historical overview and a detailed look at each of these new developments, we seek to address the question of in what context a catalytic strategy emerges as ideal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-892
Number of pages10
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2021


  • catalysis
  • desaturation
  • electrochemistry
  • metal-free
  • transition metal

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Catalysis


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