Wenker synthesis

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The Wenker synthesis is an organic reaction converting a beta amino alcohol to an aziridine with the aid of sulfuric acid.[1]

Wenker synthesis

The original Wenker synthesis of aziridine itself takes place in two steps. In the first step ethanolamine is reacted with sulfuric acid at high temperatures (250 °C) to the sulfonate salt, This salt is then reacted with sodium hydroxide in the second step forming aziridine. The base abstracts an amine proton enabling it to displace the sulfonate group. A modification of this reaction involving lower reaction temperatures (140–180 °C) and therefore reduced charring increases the yield of the intermediate.[2]

Starting from cyclooctene oxide, trans-2-Aminocyclooctanol gives a mixture of Cyclooctenimine and of cyclooctanone as a result of competing Hofmann elimination.[3]

9-Azabicyclo[6.1.0]nonane synthesis


  1. ^ Henry Wenker (1935). "The Preparation of Ethylene Imine from Monoethanolamine". Journal of the American Chemical Society 57 (1): 2328–28. doi:10.1021/ja01314a504. 
  2. ^ A Modification of Wenker's Method of Preparing Ethyleneimine Philip A. Leighton, William A. Perkins, and Melvin L. Renquist J. Am. Chem. Soc.; 1947; 69(6) pp 1540–40. (doi:10.1021/ja01198a512)
  3. ^ Chemistry of Ethylenimine. VII. Cycloöctenimine or 9-Azabicyclo[6.1.0]nonane D. V. Kashelikar, Paul E. Fanta J. Am. Chem. Soc.; 1960; 82(18); 4927–30. (doi:10.1021/ja01503a044)