Synlett 2013; 24(20): 2775-2776
DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1340149
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York


Long Chen
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Green Chemistry and Chemical Processes, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, P. R. of China   Email:
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Publication Date:
05 November 2013 (online)


Acrolein, also called propylene aldehyde, 2-propenal, or allyl aldehyde, is considered the simplest α,β-unsaturated aldehyde. It is a colorless liquid with a disagreeable, acrid smell. Because of its low boiling point and flammability, it evaporates quickly and burns easily. With two reactive functional groups, a C–C double bond and an aldehyde carbonyl, acrolein can readily participate in numerous types of transformations, including Michael additions,[1] Diels–Alder reactions,[2] 1,3-dipolar cycloadditions,[3] and Morita–Baylis–Hillman (MBH) reactions.[4] Moreover, acrolein can be used for the synthesis of acrylic acid and acrylates which are widely used in the textile and resin industry.[5] In addition, it is a potential marker of various diseases, such as chronic renal failure, stroke, and cancer.[6] Acrolein is commercially available and can be industrially prepared by the oxidation of propene as well as by dehydration of glycerol.[5]

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