Iron-Catalyzed Oxidation of Cycloalkanes and Alkylarenes with Hydrogen Peroxide



An iron-catalyzed process for the oxidation of saturated hydrocarbons (cycloalkanes and alkylarenes) to alcohols and ketones with aqueous H2O2 in acetonitrile at room temperature is reported. Addition of a carboxylic acid increases the selectivity towards the ketone formation. Best results were obtained with ethylbenzene as substrate and acetic acid as additive, affording acetophenone as the main product.