Australian Journal of Chemistry Australian Journal of Chemistry Society
An international journal for chemical science

Methyleneketenes and methylenecarbenes. XVI. The formation of Diphenylfuran-2-ones and 3-Phenylphthalide as minor products of the pyrolysis of diphenylmethyl propiolate

RFC Brown, FW Eastwood, N Chaichit, BM Gatehouse, JM Pfeiffer and D Woodroffe

Australian Journal of Chemistry 34(7) 1467 - 1481
Published: 1981


The formation of a mixture of lactones as a minor product of the flash vacuum pyrolysis of diphenyl-methyl propiolate (1) has been investigated further.    

The diphenylfuran-2-ones (3), (4), and (5) are shown to be formed through an intramolecular insertion reaction of the methylenecarbene (2), formed from (1) at 640°, which leads to 5,5-diphenyl-furan-2(5H)- one (3) as the primary product.    

3-Phenylphthalide (8) is apparently formed by intramolecular Diels-Alder addition of the C≡C bond of (1) to one phenyl ring which acts as the diene component, followed by loss of acetylene from an intermediate barrelene derivative (10). This is confirmed by a deuterium labelling experiment.    

1-Phenyl-2-benzoxepin-3(1H)-one (7), considered at first as a possible intermediate in the pyrolysis of (1), is synthesized in six steps from 2-aminobenzophenone, and its X-ray structure determination is reported. On pyrolysis at 640°/0.07 mm (7) decarbonylates smoothly to give 2-vinylbenzophenone.

© CSIRO 1981

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