The Glaser-Eglinton-Hay reaction has been used to synthesize a number of fungal antibiotics and is important for carbon-carbon bond formation via the oxidative coupling of alkynes. This laboratory exercise illustrates the oxidative coupling of 1-ethynylcyclohexanol in the presence of cuprous chloride, tetramethylethylenediamine and air. Typically, pyridine has been used as a solvent in this type of reaction, but a greener solvent, 2-propanol, is used in this procedure.
A complex mechanism has been proposed for this copper catalyzed coupling reaction. The acetylide, formed by deprotonation of the terminal alkyne, reacts with the cuprous chloride to produce a copper (Cu+1) acetylide complex. Air is bubbled through the reaction solution to oxidize Cu+1 to Cu+2. The Cu+2 is then reduced to Cu+1, resulting in the formation of the alkyne coupling product. The link to the laboratory procedure includes post-lab questions.
Summary prepared July 2005 by Christine K. F. Hermann, Department of Chemistry and Physics at Radford University.
Doxsee, K. M.; Hutchison, J. E. Green Organic Chemistry - Strategies, Tools, and Laboratory Experiments, Print 2004; pp 142-151.