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Pure Appl. Chem., 2000, Vol. 72, No. 7, pp. 1365-1372

Diels_Alder reactions in water

Sijbren Otto and Jan B. F. N. Engberts

Department of Organic and Molecular Inorganic Chemistry, Stratingh Institute, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands

Abstract: This review illustrates how water, as an environmentally friendly solvent, can have significant additional benefits when it is used as a solvent for the Diels_Alder reaction. The mechanism by which the unique properties of water enhance the rate and selectivity are discussed. Also, possibilities for the achievement of further increases in rate and enantioselectivity of aqueous Diels_Alder reactions through Lewis-acid and micellar catalysis are reviewed.