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Pure Appl. Chem., 2011, Vol. 83, No. 3, pp. 553-563

Published online 2011-01-16

Enhancement of ruthenium-catalyzed olefin metathesis reactions: Searching for new catalyst or new reaction conditions?

Anna Szadkowska1*, Cezary Samojłowicz1* and Karol Grela2,1*

1 Institute of Organic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kasprzaka 44/52, P.O. Box 58, 01-224, Warsaw, Poland
2 Faculty of Chemistry, Warsaw University, Pasteura 1, 02-093 Warsaw, Poland

Abstract: Olefin metathesis as a catalytic process constantly gains interest among organic chemists. Over the last decade, it became an efficient tool to accomplish the synthesis of many complex molecules. The development of new well-defined catalysts and continuous examination of novel ligands led to the establishment of metathesis methodology in a group of widespread chemical transformations. Not only does the selection of the catalyst seem to be of crucial importance, but modifying the reaction conditions, such as choice of the solvent and temperature, also allows one to make olefin metathesis a practical industrial process. This contribution, based on examples from our research, is devoted to answering the question “What may have a greater impact on the performance of metathesis reaction: a sophisticated catalyst design or unique reaction conditions?” Based on the data reported in the paper, we discuss two complementary strategies concerning the tuning of the olefin metathesis process.