Organic chemistry in water

Chem Soc Rev. 2006 Jan;35(1):68-82. doi: 10.1039/b507207g. Epub 2005 Nov 21.


Water has emerged as a versatile solvent for organic chemistry in recent years. Water as a solvent is not only inexpensive and environmentally benign, but also gives completely new reactivity. The types of organic reactions in water are broad including pericyclic reactions, reactions of carbanion equivalent, reactions of carbocation equivalent, reactions of radicals and carbenes, transition-metal catalysis, oxidations-reductions, which we discuss in this tutorial review. Aqueous organic reactions have broad applications such as synthesis of biological compounds from carbohydrates and chemical modification of biomolecules.