Selective reduction of the carbon-carbon double bond of α,β-unsaturated carbonyl compounds is most commonly and reliably effected using a palladium metal catalyst together with molecular hydrogen from a pressurized tank. Sodium borohydride, like other hydrides, is ordinarily associated with reduction of the more polarized carbonyl of such compounds. However, we have developed an alternative means of employing sodium borohydride in combination with palladium metal to selectively reduce the carbon-carbon double bonds of these compounds. In this survey study, we introduce sodium borohydride as an alternative hydrogen source for such selective, palladium-catalyzed reductions. We also compare the results of this new, heterogeneous borohydride-palladium method with that of traditional palladium-catalyzed hydrogenation. A third method using only sodium borohydride with no palladium is included for comparison.Faculty Sponsor: Dr. David B. Cordes

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