One-pot formal synthesis of biorenewable terephthalic acid from methyl coumalate and methyl pyruvate†
Diverse functionalized aromatic compounds are constructed from captodative dienophiles with exclusive regioselectivity. 100% biorenewable dimethyl terephthalate (DMT) from methyl coumalate and methyl pyruvate is achieved in a one-pot, Diels–Alder/decarboxylation/elimination sequence in nearly quantitative yield. The DMT system is solvent-free and purification is accomplished through recrystallization. DMT hydrolysis reveals the co-monomer terephthalic acid (TPA) as a bio-based drop-in replacement for the polymer industry, avoiding harsh oxidation and petrochemicals.