Pyridinium chlorochromate

Pyridinium chlorochromate

Chembox new
Name = Pyridinium chlorochromate
ImageFile = Pyridinium_chlorochromate.png ImageSize = 150px
ImageName = Chemical structure of the Pyridinium Chlorochromate
ImageFileL1 = Pyridinium-3D-balls.png ImageNameR1 = Ball-and-stick model of the pyridinium cation
ImageFileR1 = Chlorochromate-3D-balls.png ImageNameR1 = Ball-and-stick model of the chlorochromate anion
IUPACName = Pyridinium chlorochromate
OtherNames = PCC
Section1 = Chembox Identifiers
CASNo = 26299-14-9

Section2 = Chembox Properties
Formula = C5H5NHClCrO3
MolarMass = 215.56 g/mol
Appearance = orange crystalline powder
MeltingPt = 205 °C
Solvent = other solvents
SolubleOther = soluble in dichloromethane,
benzene, diethyl ether,
sol acetone, acetonitrile,

Section7 = Chembox Hazards
ExternalMSDS = [ external MSDS sheet]
Main hazard
oxidizing, toxic, flammable
carcinogenic, irritant
NFPA-H = 3 | NFPA-R = 3
RPhrases = 49-8-43-50/53
SPhrases = 53-45-60-61

Pyridinium chlorochromate is a reddish orange solid reagent used to oxidize primary alcohols to aldehydes and secondary alcohols to ketones. Pyridinium chlorochromate, or PCC, will not fully oxidize the alcohol to the carboxylic acid as does the Jones reagent. A disadvantage to using PCC is its toxicity. PCC was developed by Elias James Corey and William Suggs in 1975.cite journal | author = Corey, E.J.; Suggs, W. | title = Pyridinium Chlorochromate. An Efficient Reagent for Oxidation of Primary and Secondary Alcohols to Carbonyl Compounds | journal = Tetrahedron Lett. | year = 1975 | volume = 16 | pages = 2647–2650 | doi = 10.1016/S0040-4039(00)75204-X]

Pyridinium dichromate is a similar oxidizing agent, which has the advantage of being less acidic.


The original preparation by Corey involves adding one equivalent of pyridine to a solution of one equivalent of chromium(VI) trioxide and concentrated hydrochloric acid:::C5H5N + HCl + CrO3 → [C5H5NH] [CrO3Cl]

Agarwal et al. presented an alternative synthesis that avoids the harmful side product chromyl chloride (CrO2Cl2). [cite journal | author = Agarwal, S; Tiwari, H. P.; Sharma, J. P. | title = Pyridinium Chlorochromate: an Improved Method for its Synthesis and use of Anhydrous acetic acid as catalyst for oxidation reactions | journal = Tetrahedron | year = 1990 | volume = 46 | pages = 4417–4420 | doi = 10.1016/S0040-4020(01)86776-4] Chromium(VI) oxide is treated with pyridinium chloride::: [C5H5NH+] Cl + CrO3 → [C5H5NH] [CrO3Cl]

Properties and uses

PCC is primarily used as an oxidant. In particular, it has proven to be highly effective in oxidizing primary and secondary alcohols to aldehydes and ketones, respectively. Rarely does over-oxidation occur (whether intentionally or accidentally) to form carboxylic acids. A typical PCC oxidation involves addition of the alcohol to a suspension of PCC in dichloromethane. [OrgSynth | author = Paquette, L. A.; Earle, M. J.; Smith, G. F. | title = (4R)-(+)-tert-Butyldimethylsiloxy-2-cyclopenten-1-one | collvol = 9 | collvolpages = 132 | year = 1998 | prep = cv9p0132] [OrgSynth | author = Tu, Y.; Frohn, M.; Wang, Z.-X.; Shi, Y. | title = Synthesis of 1,2:4,5-Di-‘’O’’-Isopropylidene-D-erythro-2,3-hexodiulo-2,6-pyranose. A highly Enantioselective Ketone Catalyst for Epoxidation | volume = 80 | pages = 1 | year = 2003 | prep = v80p0001] [OrgSynth | author = White, J. D.; Grether, U. M.; Lee, C.-S. | title = (R)-(+)-3,4-Dimethylcyclohex-2-en-1-one | volume = 82 | pages = 108 | year = 2005 | prep = v82p0108] A sample reaction would be:
:: C5H5NHCrO3Cl + R2CHOH → C5H5NHCl + H2CrO3 + R2C=O

In practice the chromium byproduct deposits with pyridine as a sticky black tar, which can complicate matters. Addition of an inert adsorbent such as crushed molecular sieves or silica gel allows the sticky byproduct to adsorb to the surface, and makes workup easier.

PCC is also remarkable for its high selectivity. For example, when oxidizing tertiary allyl alcohols, unsaturated aldehydes are observed as the sole product. This reaction is known as the Babler oxidation. Otherwise such oxidations commonly afford dienes as by-products resulting from dehydration.

Another notable oxidative reaction of PCC is its efficient conversion of unsaturated alcohols or aldehydes to cyclohexenones. This particular pathway is known as oxidative cationic cyclization.


PCC is controversial as it contains chromium(VI). Other methods for oxidizing alcohols using less toxic reagents have been introduced and are favored by green chemists:
*DMSO-based oxidations (Swern oxidation, Moffatt oxidation)
*hypervalent iodine based oxidation (such as the Dess-Martin periodinane)


Further reading


External links

* [ IARC Monograph "Chromium and Chromium compounds"]
* [ History of PCC]
* [ Datasheet PDC]
* [ National Pollutant Inventory - Chromium VI and compounds fact sheet]

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