Catalytic Coupling of Alkenes and Aldehydes


Allylic alcohols (the observed product of this reaction) are used in flavors, fragrances, insect attractants (e.g. mosquitoes), and other applications.

Problem Addressed

Traditionally, stoichiometric amounts of transition metals and other toxic materials are used to synthesize allylic alcohols. This technology couples alkenes and aldehydes through the uses of a clever catalyst and is able to produce allylic alcohols without toxic materials. 


This technology demonstrated a catalyst comprised of a transition metal (such as nickel) and a supporting Ligand (such as an organophosphine). This catalyst allows the construction of an allylic alcohol by coupling an alkene and an aldehyde (as seen in the attached schematic).


  • Removes need for toxic materials in allylic alcohol synthesis
  • Improves synthesis rate of allylic alcohol