Phenols are important compounds in chemical industry. An economical and green approach to phenol preparation by the direct oxidation of aryl Grignard reagents using compressed air in continuous gas-liquid segmented flow systems is described. The process tolerates a broad range of functional groups, including oxidation-sensitive functionalities such as alkenes, amines, and thioethers. By integrating a benzyne-mediated in-line generation of arylmagnesium intermediates with the aerobic oxidation, a facile three-step, one-flow process, capable of preparing 2-functionalized phenols in a modular fashion, is established.
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