The ‘Ireland’ one-pot alcohol oxidation coupling reactions: celebrating 30 years of diverse synthesis
In 1985, Robert Ireland and co-worker were devising synthetic routes to polyether ionophore antibiotics and during this process several highly reactive aldehydes were encountered, which made their isolation and subsequent elaboration difficult. To circumvent this problem, the synthetic route commenced from the alcohol which was oxidized to the aldehyde and, to the crude mixture, was added the nucleophile. This procedure, dubbed the ‘Ireland’ oxidative process was found to be highly successful and adapted by many research groups the world over. As we celebrate 30 years since this landmark discovery, the following review will take a journey of the most innovative and wonderful applications of this process.