Bio-renewable enantioselective aldol reaction in natural deep eutectic solvents
Among the deep eutectic solvents (DES), natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) formed by D-glucose and racemic malic acid are suitable media to perform the enantioselective L-proline catalyzed intermolecular aldol reaction, creating simultaneously and selectively a C–C bond and a new stereocenter. The scope of the reaction was found to be broad, with products being obtained with good levels of diastereo- and enantioselectivities. Furthermore, when the reaction was performed at a large scale, the catalyst together with the reaction media can be recovered by simple water extraction and reused at least three times affording similar results. Therefore, the use of NADES as reaction media to carry out a VOC-free selective process has been demonstrated for the first time. The process is clean, cheap, simple and scalable and meets most of the criteria to be considered as a sustainable and bio-renewable process, with the reaction media and catalyst arising directly from Nature.