Encyclopedia of Applied Electrochemistry

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerhard Kreysa, Ken-ichiro Ota, Robert F. Savinell

Kolbe and Related Reactions

  • István MarkóEmail author
  • François Chellé
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-6996-5_369


In 1834, while studying the conductivity of acetates, M. Faraday observed that an inflammable gas was produced at the anode [ 1]. However, being more interested in physics than in chemistry, he reported this phenomenon but did not identify the gas. Fifteen years later, in 1849, W.H. Kolbe reinvestigated this transformation [ 2]. He characterized ethane as the product formed at the anode and recognized the nature and utility of this electrochemical process. The “Kolbe” reaction, the electrochemical oxidative decarboxylation-dimerization of carboxylic acids, is a powerful method for the generation of C-C bonds under particularly mild conditions (Scheme 1).
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universite Catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium