Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 1983, 48, 1710-1717

Redox chain addition of chloroform to 1-alkenes catalysed by copper complexes

Milan Hájek and Přemysl Šilhavý

Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 165 02 Prague 6-Suchdol


The addition of chloroform to alkenes to give 1 : 1 adducts has been studied at 60-160 °C. In the addition to styrene taken as a model reaction, copper complexes formed from metallic copper or cuprous oxide and 1,10-phenanthroline showed highest catalytic activity and selectivity even under mild conditions and gave 1,1,3-trichloro-3-phenylpropane in up to 95% yields. Aliphatic alkenes and vinyl monomers were less reactive than styrene. The mechanism proposed for redox chain additions of chloroform involves chain transfer via copper complexes.