Various room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs), notably, 1-methoxyethyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoroacetate [MeOEtMIM]+[CF3COO]¯ , have been used to promote the Knoevenagel condensation to afford substituted olefins. All reactions proceeded effectively in the absence of any other catalysts or co-solvents with good to excellent yields. This method is simple and applicable to reactions involving a wide range of aldehydes and ketones with methylene compounds. The ionic liquid can be recycled without noticeable reduction of its catalytic activity. A plausible reaction mechanism is proposed.
Keywords: Carbonyl compounds, catalysis, ionic liquids, Knoevenagel condensation, olefins.