Studies in metal–ammonia reduction. Part 4. Reduction and reductive methylation of 7-methoxy-3,4-dihydrophenanthren-1(2H)-one and 7-methoxy-1,2-dihydrophenanthren-4(3H)-one
Birch reduction and reductive methylations of the title compounds have been investigated. 7-Methoxy-3,4-dihydrophenanthren-1(2H)-one (2) yields the cis-3,4,9,10,11,12-hexahydro-derivative (15) while the 7-methoxy-1,2-dihydrophenanthren-4(3H)-one (5) is reduced to the corresponding 1,2,9,10-tetrahydro-derivative (7). The factors influencing the mechanism of the reduction process have been discussed. The reductive methylation products of the ketone (2) are useful substrates in the synthesis of 9-methyl steroids.