Author Topic: PTC alternatives  (Read 5438 times)

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  • Guest
PTC alternatives
« on: April 16, 2003, 06:46:00 PM »
curious if bees might be able to suggest alternatives to Aliquat 336 as a PTC. Antibody is specifically curious about the viability of polysorbate as a replacement in Barium's new C=C reduction variation.

opinions? alternatives?


  • Guest
maybe cetrimide can substitute?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2003, 10:11:00 PM »
Hxadecyltrimethylammonium bromide ("Cetrimide") is still quite lipophilic so maybe it can substitute for Aliquat 336. It is cheap and easy to get, as it is used in the preparation of shampoo's :

Don't know if a polysorbate will work, do you have any refs on the subject ?

What about PEG400?


  • Guest
interesting link, vitus.
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2003, 12:06:00 AM »
interesting link, vitus. no i've no refs just a litre of polysorbate 20

 just did a couple of tests and while the polysorbate 20 seems to disolve in either toluene or dcm, when water is added regardless of the amount of stirring the aqueous layer reforms above the dcm. With toluene addition of water causes this puss like suspension (it stays suspended). Never having worked with PTC's before its difficult to say whether it was truly successful or not.

its looks as though it may complicate work-up


  • Guest
Why should polysorbate act as a PTC for ...
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2003, 12:37:00 AM »
Why should polysorbate act as a PTC for organic compounds?


  • Guest
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2003, 01:34:00 AM »
Polyethyleneglycols with molecular weights of 200-600 (particularly PEG 400) works very good as a PTC, and can usually be crashed out from the organic phase by dilution with ether...

In some reactions the free OH groups can also be modified to bear other substituents to modify its properties, for example by attaching phenylphosphines and adding Pd salts you can make a recoverable homogenous catalyst support for all kinds of Pd-catalyzed reactions, as a substitute for Pd(PPh3)3. Example:

Post 446706

(Rhodium: "PEG as support/PTC in Pd-catalyzed cross-couplings", Chemistry Discourse)


  • Guest
Check out Post 290770 .
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2003, 02:34:00 AM »
Check out

Post 290770 (missing)

(foxy2: "Right one", Chemicals & Equipment)
. Yes, it is quite ghetto but at least they  tested several fabric softeners. Comfort worked quite well.


  • Guest
moo Since you seem to have the article, maybe...
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2003, 04:41:00 AM »
Since you seem to have the article, maybe you could post the details?
Or is this basically all there is?
Comfort worked quite well.


  • Guest
OTC fabric softener phase transfer catalysts
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2003, 09:57:00 AM »
Most of the article discusses educational aspects of the reaction so I'll type the parts that most benefit bees along with the test reaction so that it is clear how they tested it. It is basically the addition of dichlorocarbene, generated from NaOH and CHCl3 under PTC conditions, to cyclohexene. This is the article that makes me grin whenever walking past the fabric softeners in the supermarket. :)

Fabric Softeners as Phase Transfer Catalysts in Organic Synthesis, J. Chem. Educ. 68, 69-70 (1991):




To 10 mL of 50% (w/w) aqueous sodium hydroxide solution in a 100-mL round-bottom flask was added 5 mL of cyclohexene and 20 mL of chloroform. Then 2 mL of the fabric softener to be tested was added to the mixture. The stoppered two-phase mixture was stirred magnetically at ~1000 rpm using a 1-in. Teflon-coated stirring bar. The reaction mixture turned turbid as some white emulsion started to form after 15 to 20 min.

The reaction was monitored by GC at 15- to 20-min time intervals. The stirrer was turned off, and 1-mL GC samples were taken from the top organic layer of reaction mixture. The samples were passed through some anhydrous sodium sulfate packed in a Pasteur pipet to remove any of the white emulsion and moisture.  The GC experiments were carried out using a 3 mm X 1 m SE-30 column installed in a Hitachi 163 gas chromatograph with flame ionization detector and a Hitachi 561 recorder. In a larger scale experiment, 15 mL of the sodium hydroxide solution, 20 mL of chloroform, 20 mL of cyclohexene, and 8 mL of the fabric softener were stirred for 5 h as above. after simple work up and distillation (collected between 192-198 °C), NMR pure 7,7-dichlorobicyclo[4.1.0]heptane was obtained in 51% Yield1.

Results and Discussion

The reaction times of each fabric softener used were summarized in the table. For 2 mL of the fabric softeners used, the reactions were completed within 2 h with the exception of one brand (run 4, table). Two control experiments were also carried out. Without the fabric softener, the reaction did not proceed as indicated by GC. When a typical phase transfer catalyst, Aliquat 336 (methyltrioctylammonium chloride, 2 mol % to cyclohexene) was used in the reaction, the reaction was also completed in 2 h. This indicated that the effect of 2 mL of fabric softener was roughly equivalent to that of 2 mol % of a typical phase transfer catalyst.

One sample tried did not work well as a phase transfer catalyst (run 4, table). It may be due to the fact that another active ingredient such as noncationic softening agent was used in the formula. It is also worth noting that the concentrated formula (run 3) did not work better as a phase transfer agent than the regular formula (run 2).

                          Place of              Reaction
   Fabric softener       Manufacture  cents/mL  time (h)

1. Soft Great            Japan        0.14      1.50
2. Comfort               UK           0.16      1.33
3. Concentrated Comfort  UK           0.23      1.33
4. Bonnie Hubbard        Canada       0.12      >4a
5. Softlan               US           0.13      2.00
6. Park'n                Hong Kong    0.11      1.00
aReaction was not completed after 4 h.



1. J. Chem. Educ. 55, 350 and 429 (1978)


  • Guest
they use it straight out of the bottle, wow.
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2003, 06:31:00 PM »
they use it straight out of the bottle, wow. thanx moo


  • Guest
I am also v.interested in this, particularly...
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2003, 07:03:00 PM »
I am also v.interested in this, particularly as to the possibility of whether BzEt3N would bee a suitable substitute for Aliquat 336 in Barium's 2-phase borohydride redn.? Can anyone offer any light on this?



  • Guest
might work
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2003, 09:39:00 PM »
Aliquat 336, or methyltrioctylammonium chloride, is a very lipophilic PTC (more than 20 C atoms), BzEt3N+ Cl- is quite hydrophilic.

On the other hand, "Phase Transfer Catalysts, properties and applications" (Merck-Schuchardt) states that tetraalkylammonium borohydrides are soluble in organic solvents. So it might work.


  • Guest
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2003, 01:21:00 AM »
I've recently taken interest in the PTC chemistry. Not being very familiar with it and only guided by the readings available in March's 5th edition text  i've taken the task to find a  PTC catalyst that will remove a OH  and convert to an alkane as well as reducing a carboxylic acid to an alcohol or alkane or aldehyde.

I have read of the OTC  PTC, some being Fabric softeners and just the whole idea of doing chemistry in this way  increases my interest.

So I guess the only dumb question is the one that doesn't get asked