What is Electro-Organic Synthesis?
In electro-organic synthesis, the electrodes act as “courier” of electrons. The anode which is electron deficient abstracts electron from a substrate, i.e., oxidises it and this is called Anodic oxidation, whereas the cathode which has excess of electrons can transfer an electron to the substrate i.e., reduces it and is called Cathodic reduction.
(i) Such synthesis has a green perspective as no reagent is necessary for the redox reactions- the electrons are directly exchanged between the substrate and the inert electrodes like Platinum.
(ii) Such synthesis helps in bringing about “umpolung” in the substrate and allows synthesis of compound from single substrate.
(iii) Since in electrosynthesis, the reactive species react on the electrode surface their “effective volume” is very high for which rates of the reactions are also high.
It Also Has Following Disadvantages:
(i) Multiplicities of the product are the main disadvantage.
(ii) Organic compounds are non electrolytes, i.e., non-conducting. This is overcome by adding supporting electrolytes like Li-salts or tetraalkyl ammonium salts which are appreciably soluble in organic solvents.
The reactions are usually carried out in two ways-
(i) By Potentiostatic technique (i.e. constant energy process)
In this technique the reactions become more chemo-selective and multiplicity of the product is decreased.
(ii) By Galvanostatic technique (i.e. constant current process)
This is easy to carry out but chemo-selectivity is less.
Note: Scientists claim, there is a huge potential in this field to get a Nobel Prize. Using no reagents and no chemical wastage is the main reason for this.
Thanks for reading 🙂