A Biomimetic Iron Catalyst for the Epoxidation of Olefins with Molecular Oxygen at Room Temperature


  • K.S. appreciates financial support provided by the Graduiertenkolleg 1213 and the Max-Buchner-Forschungsstiftung. B.J. thanks the Alexander-von-Humboldt-Stiftung. We thank Dr. S. Enthaler for X-ray structure analysis, Dr. D. Gördes for ESI-MS measurements, and M. Heyken for technical assistance. M.C. thanks MICINN for project CTQ2009-08464/BQU, Generalitat de Catalunya for an ICREA Academia Award, and UdG STR for experimental support.


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It's no sacrifice: A bio-inspired iron system, in which a β-keto ester serves as a sacrificial cosubstrate, readily epoxidizes olefins under ambient conditions with air. Aromatic olefins are oxidized in high yields with excellent chemoselectivity. Mechanistic investigations point out substantial differences to well-known radical-based autoxidations.