The oxidation of primary and secondary benzylic alcohols was achieved by using tert-butyl nitrite (t-BuONO) as a stoichiometric oxidant. Various substrates were effectively converted into the corresponding ketones or aldehydes in good to excellent yields. The reaction presumably proceeded by a nitrosyl exchange and a subsequent thermal decomposition of benzylic nitrites. This process would realize an oxidation of alcohols with oxygen in theory by combining with a reproduction of alkyl nitrites from NO and alcohols under an O 2 atmosphere. In addition, almost pure oxidized products were readily obtained by simple evaporation of the reaction mixtures since t-BuONO produced only volatile side products.
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