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Borate Esters as Alternative Acid Promoters in the Palladium-Catalyzed Methoxycarbonylation of Ethylene


  • The authors thank SASOL Technology for financial support, and A.R. thanks the research fund of the UFS. The South African NRF is gratefully acknowledged (GUN 2068915, to A.R.).


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Out with convention! The use of borosalicylic acid, derived from boric and salicylic acids, as the acid promoter in the methoxycarbonylation of ethylene to give methyl propionate has been investigated (see scheme). Not only was moderate catalyst activity observed, but much lower formation of phosphonium salts occurred than with conventional acids.