The effect of alpha -cyclodextrin ( alpha -CD) on the electroreduction of benzaldehyde was investigated. The reduction in aqueous system produces benzyl alcohol and 1,2-diphenyl-1,2-ethanediol (hydrobenzion, dimerization product). The addition of alpha -CD caused the decrease in the yield of hydrobenzoin. This suppression effect was observed both in the controlled potential and controlled current electrolyses. This is accounted for by the retardation of the dimerization rate between the neutral radicals, since inclusion of substrate provides severe steric hindrance around the reaction site. The addition had only a small influence on the stereochemistry of hydrobenzoin formed by the dimerization.
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