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The paper https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jchem/2013/909217/ describes a possibility to synthesize salicylaldehyde-based Schiff Bases using water as a solvent. Yields shown for the microwave-assisted procedure are high, exceeding 90%, though the procedure requires no water removal, Dean-Stark equipment etc.

Is it the exception that proves the rule or the Schiff bases synthesis, in general, is always possible in aqueous media? Or maybe the microwave does the magic?

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    $\begingroup$ There's a passing reference to this at chemistry.stackexchange.com/a/89718/16683, although to stop anybody getting ideas, I'll say that this isn't a duplicate. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol May 5 '20 at 9:55
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    $\begingroup$ I wonder if the reactants are truly in solution, or are they esentially dissolving in each other as a microemulsion where reaction occurs. $\endgroup$ – Waylander May 5 '20 at 11:16
  • $\begingroup$ The reference post given by @orthocresol describes "conventional' i.e., not microwave-assisted reactions. The cited reference concludes that vacuum simply helps in the formation of imine by removing the water formed in the imine condensation. The case described in this post is different: solid product was obtained in reaction mixture. As far as I understand it means that water is present after the completion of the reaction. $\endgroup$ – Marcin Stec May 5 '20 at 11:44
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    $\begingroup$ I have two opinions here: (1) Microwave sometimes does weird things that make them superior to regular reactions, so that may just be it. (2) If this were a general reaction, I would assume that the paper would not refer to salicyladehydes and be in a better journal. $\endgroup$ – Zhe May 5 '20 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ Marcin Stec: That;s what exactly @orthocresol was saying. Your post is not a duplicate, but strangely similar. $\endgroup$ – Mathew Mahindaratne May 5 '20 at 19:56

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