A novel and environmental friendly synthetic route for hydroxypyrrolidines using zeolites.


Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore, 3 Science Drive 3, 117543, Singapore. Electronic address: [Email]


A critical step in the synthesis of the hydroxypyrrolidines, 1,4-dideoxy-1,4-imino-l-lyxitol and 1,4-dideoxy-1,4-imino-d-lyxitol, from the corresponding d-sugars is the synthesis of O-methyl 2,3-O-isopropylidenepentofuranoses. Instead of applying homogeneous catalysis process with conventional inorganic acid catalysts like HCl and HClO4, it was found that heterogeneous catalysis using zeolites could be used for the one-pot synthesis of O-methyl 2,3-O-isopropylidenepentofuranoses directly from d-sugars, MeOH and acetone at mild condition. The best catalyst was H-beta zeolite containing a Si/Al molar ratio of 150, where a yield of >83% was obtained. The overall yields of the five-step procedure to 1,4-dideoxy-1,4-imino-l-lyxitol and 1,4-dideoxy-1,4-imino-d-lyxitol were 57% and 50%, respectively. This synthetic procedure has several advantages such as competitive overall yield, reduced number of steps, and mild reaction conditions. Furthermore, the zeolite catalyst can be easily recovered from the reaction mixture and reused with no loss of activity.