Kowalski ester homologation

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The Kowalski ester homologation is a chemical reaction for the homologation of esters.[1][2]

The Kowalski ester homologation

This reaction was designed as a safer alternative to the Arndt–Eistert synthesis, avoiding the need for diazomethane. The Kowalski reaction is named after its inventor, Conrad J. Kowalski.

Reaction mechanism[edit]

Proposed mechanism of the Kowalski ester homologation

The mechanism is disputed.


By changing the reagent in the second step of the reaction, the Kowalski ester homologation can also be used for the preparation of silyl ynol ethers.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Kowalski, C. J.; Haque, M. S.; Fields, K. W. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1985, 107, 1429. (doi:10.1021/ja00291a063)
  2. ^ Organic Syntheses, Coll. Vol. 9, p.426 (1998); Vol. 71, p.146 (1993). (Article)

See also[edit]