Organic electrosynthesis: a promising green methodology in organic chemistry†
Over the last decade, organic electrosynthesis has become recognized as one of the methodologies that can fulfill several important criteria that are needed if society is to develop environmentally compatible processes. It can be used to replace toxic or dangerous oxidizing or reducing reagents, reduce energy consumption, and can be used for the in situ production of unstable and hazardous reagents. These are just a few of the most important attributes that render electrochemistry environmentally useful. In this review the main characteristics of electrochemistry as a promising green methodology for organic synthesis are described and exemplified. Herein we provide basic information concerning the nature of electrosynthetic processes, paired electrochemical reactions, electrocatalytic reactions, reactions carried out in ionic liquids, electrogeneration of reactants, electrochemical reactions that use renewable starting materials (biomass), green organic electrosynthesis in micro- and nano-emulsions, the synthesis of complex molecules using an electrosynthetic key step, and conclude with some insights concerning the future. Throughout the review the “green aspects” of these topics are highlighted and their relationship with the twelve green chemistry principles is described.