Olefin metathesis in homogeneous aqueous media catalyzed by conventional ruthenium catalysts

Org Lett. 2007 Nov 8;9(23):4885-8. doi: 10.1021/ol7022505. Epub 2007 Oct 19.


Olefin metathesis in aqueous solvents is sought for applications in green chemistry and with the hydrophilic substrates of chemical biology, such as proteins and polysaccharides. Most demonstrations of metathesis in water, however, utilize exotic complexes. We have examined the performance of conventional catalysts in homogeneous water/organic mixtures, finding that the second-generation Hoveyda-Grubbs catalyst has extraordinary efficiency in aqueous dimethoxyethane and aqueous acetone. High (71-95%) conversions are achieved for ring-closing and cross metathesis of a variety of substrates in these solvent systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aldehydes / chemistry
  • Alkenes / chemistry*
  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Structure
  • Ruthenium / chemistry*


  • Aldehydes
  • Alkenes
  • Ruthenium
  • 3-hydroxybutanal