R1 = alkyl
L = leaving group
The group —CH2COCH3 in 2 is contributed by an acetoacetic ester, hence the term acetoacetic ester synthesis.
R2 = alkyl, aryl
Acetoacetic ester synthesis consists of four consecutive reactions that can be carried out in the same pot.
A more direct method to convert 3 to 4 is the reaction of 3 with the enolate ion (5) of acetone.
However, the generation of 5 from acetone quantitatively in high yield is not an easy task because the reaction requires a very strong base, such as LDA, and must be carried out at very low temperature under strictly anhydrous conditions.
Acetoacetic ester synthesis provides a more convenient alternative to convert 3 to 4.
Acetoacetic ester synthesis can be adapted to synthesize compounds that have the general structural formula 6.
R3, R4 = identical or different alkyl groups
reaction 1 (repeat):
reaction 2 (repeat):
See also Malonic ester synthesis.
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