Contact Information

  • Daniel R. Palleros
  • Lecturer
  • Chem. and Biochem.
  • Univ. of California-Santa Cruz
  • Santa Cruz, CA
  • 95064
(831) 459 - 3405

Solvent-Free Synthesis of Chalcones

Author Contact:


Chalcones represent a group of compounds with interesting biological activities that are formed from an aldol condensation between a benzaldehyde and an acetophenone in the presence of NaOH as a catalyst. Although typically synthesized using organic solvents, in this exercise students prepare 20 different chalcones using a solventless procedure. The scale of these reactions can be easily modified due to the high yields and ease of purifications. A diverse set of reactants combined with differential product profiles for traditional vs. solventless reactions, provides a unique framework for discussing how a broad range of chemical and physical properties affect product yields.

Supplemental materials are provided on the J. Chem. Educ. website and include notes for instructors and students, an experimental procedure, hazards, sample results and conclusions.

Summary prepared May 2005 by Julie A. Haack, Department of Chemistry at the University of Oregon.


Palleros, D. R. J. Chem. Educ., Print 2004, 81, pp 1345-1347.

J. Chem. Educ. (Abstract only)

Category Descriptors

Chemistry Concepts
  • Aldehydes/Ketones
  • Catalysis
  • Kinetics
  • Phases/Phase Transitions
  • Solutions/Solvents
Laboratory Techniques
  • Melting Points and Melting Ranges
  • NMR Spectroscopy
  • Recrystallization
Green Chemistry Principles
  • Design Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses
  • Maximize Atom Economy
  • Minimize the Potential for Accidents
  • Prevent Waste
  • Use Catalysts
  • Use Safer Solvents/Reaction Conditions
Chemistry Subdiscipline
  • Organic Chemistry
Target Audience
  • Colleges/Universities
  • Journal Articles