I am currently working on a way to perform a Wacker oxidation of 1-Dodecene into 2-Dodecanone in a continous reaction where it flows through a benchtop NMR, which allows me to monitor the reaction instantly and also make a quantative analysis as the reaction is going. Now to my question: The reaction itself performs very well under DMF or Dimethylacetamide (giving a yield of 89-95% and conversion of 1-Dodecene in the area of 80-95%). Performing the reaction with more polar solvents or less polar solvents like Isopropanol or Dioxane or THF is less selective. Now I have found a paper (DOI: 10.1039/b913779n) in which they use ethylene carbonate and get excellent results. I haven't tried it yet for my reaction conditions but I was wondering if either the carbonyl-group (like in ethylene carbonate) or the amide-functionality (like in DMF) could be responsible for this selectivity and how that would work. Is this something that has been reported on for oxidation reactions? Any ideas?



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