Reactions of polyhalogenated aromatic compounds and related ethers with metal/ammonia solutions
Cater, Stephen R.
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This work contains the results of a series of reduction studies on polyhalogenated aromatic compounds and related ethers using alkali metals in liquid ammonia. In general, polychlorobenzenes were reduced to t he parent aromatic hydrocarbon or to 1 ,4-cyc1ohexadiene, and dipheny1ethers were cleaved to the aroma tic hydrocarbon and a phenol. Chlorinated dipheny1ethers were r eductive1y dechlorinated in the process. For example, 4-chlorodipheny1- ether gave benzene and phenol. Pentach1orobenzene and certain tetrachlorobenzenes disproportionated to a fair degree during the reduction process if no added proton source was present. The disproportionation was attributed to a build-up of amide ion. Addition of ethanol completely suppressed the formation of any disproportionation products. In the reductions of certain dipheny1ethers , the reduction of one or both of the dipheny1ether rings occurred, along with the normal cleavage. This was more prevalent when lithium was the metal used . As a Sidelight, certain chloropheno1s were readily dechlorinated. In light of these results, the reductive detoxification of the chlorinated dibenzo-1,4-dioxins seems possible with alkali metals in l iquid ammonia.