Synthesis of phenols from hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF)
This study describes the use of hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) as a precursor to phenols that are accessible within a few simple catalytic steps. A key step is an efficient transformation of HMF into its propargyl ether derivative under flow conditions. The latter was subsequently functionalised and used for gold-catalysed conversion into aromatic phenol derivatives. Special attention was paid on performing all of the chemical transformations under mild and environmentally benign conditions.