Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 1997, 62, 147-153

Is a Gas-Phase Cannizzaro-Type Reaction Perspective?

Libuše Šroubkováa, Václav Horákb and Rudolf Zahradníka

a J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 182 23 Prague 8, Czech Republic
b Georgetown University, Department of Chemistry, Washington, D.C. 20057-1227, U.S.A.


Quantum chemical calculations for model processes CH2=O + CH2=O-• ⇌ CH3O- + CH=O and C6H5CH=O + C6H5CH=O-• ⇌ C6H5CH2O- + C6H5C=O indicate convincingly their endoergicity. Therefore, spontaneous gas-phase Cannizzaro-type reaction between formaldehyde and benzaldehyde and their radical anions is unlikely to occur. This suggests a significant difference between the gas phase reaction under investigation and the classical Cannizzaro reaction.

Keywords: Cannizzaro reaction; MP2/6-311G**; Calculations; Formaldehyde; Formaldehyde anion radical; Benzaldehyde; Benzaldehyde anion radical.