Concept

Alkyne trimerisation

Summary
An alkyne trimerisation is a [2+2+2] cycloaddition reaction in which three alkyne units () react to form a benzene ring. The reaction requires a metal catalyst. The process is of historic interest as well as being applicable to organic synthesis. Being a cycloaddition reaction, it has high atom economy. Many variations have been developed, including cyclisation of mixtures of alkynes and alkenes as well as alkynes and nitriles. Mechanism and stereochemistry Trimerisation of acetylene to benzene is highly exergonic, proceeding with a free energy change of 142 kcal/mol at room temperature. Kinetic barriers however prevent the reaction from proceeding smoothly. The breakthrough came in 1948, when Walter Reppe and W. J. Schweckendiek reported their wartime results showing that nickel compounds are effective catalysts: :3 RC2H -> C6R3H3 Since this discovery, many other cyclotrimerisations have been reported. Mechanism In terms of mechanism, the reactions be
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