Formaldehyde Encapsulated in Zeolite:  A Long-Lived, Highly Activated One-Carbon Electrophile to Carbonyl-Ene Reactions

2004-03-03T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Takahiro Okachi Makoto Onaka
Gaseous formaldehyde is extremely unstable and readily undergoes self-polymerization to a solid paraformaldehyde or disproportionation to methanol and formic acid in the presence of moisture. We disclose a simple method to stably store such a labile formaldehyde as a monomer in a nanoporous faujasite zeolite at 5 °C for at least 50 days without self-polymerization or disproportionation. The greater stability of formaldehyde encapsulated in zeolite was confirmed by 13C MAS NMR spectroscopy. Formaldehyde was not only stabilized within the zeolite cages but functioned as a powerful electrophile toward various olefins. Zeolite-encapsulated formaldehyde was proved to be a stable but highly reactive C1 reagent.