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Isomerization of anacardic acid: a possible route to the synthesis of an unsaturated benzolactone and a kairomone

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James E. Mgaya, Egid B. Mubofu, Quintino A. Mgani, David B. Cordes, Alexandra M. Slawin, David J. Cole-Hamilton

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Crystalline unsaturated lactone, 8-hydroxy-3-tridecyl-1H-isochromen-1-one (6) has been synthesized by isomerization of anacardic acid having heterogeneous alkyl side chains (a mixture of mono-, di-, and tri-unsaturated anacardic acid) (1). Hydrogenation of 8-hydroxy-3-tridecyl-1H-isochromen-1-one produced a saturated lactone, 8-hydroxy-3-tridecyl-3,4-dihydroisochromen-1-one (7). Isomerization of monoene anacardic acid resulted in a crystalline isoanacardic acid, (E)-2-hydroxy-6-(pentadec-1-enyl)benzoic acid (8) as a major product. This was then metathesized with 2-butene to give 3-prop-1-enylphenol (10). Both isomerization reactions used a 1,2-bis(ditertiarybutylphosphinomethyl)benzene modified palladium catalyst. The two products, 8-hydroxy-3-tridecyl-1H-isochromen-1-one and (E)-2-hydroxy-6-(pentadec-1-enyl)benzoic acid have been crystallographically characterized.
Practical applications: Unsaturated lactones are structural elements often found in natural products, which have medicinal value. Benzolactones derived from anacardic acid reported in this work have some structural similarity with lactones such as massoia lactone having medicinal value. Therefore with this idea in mind, the unsaturated benzolactones reported in this work will be tested for their anti pathogenic activity. 3-Propylphenol is used in combination with racemic 1-octen-3-ol and p-cresol to prepare a kairomone for tsetse fly traps. Results from this work describe the suitability of anacardic acid for synthesizing 3-propylphenol. The fact that 3-propylphenol can be synthesized from anacardic acid, a component of cashew nut shell liquid is of particular interest since most of the areas affected with tsetse flies are suitable for growing cashew plants. This means the raw materials (CNSL) for synthesis of 3-propylphenol will be obtained from within the same region where the kairomone is to be applied, although we appreciate that specialized facilities would be required for the types of transformation described.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-199
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Lipid Science and Technology
Issue number2
Early online date30 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2015

    Research areas

  • Anacardic acid, Benzolactone, Double bond isomerisation, Isoanacardic acid, Kairomone, Nut-shell liquid, Fatty-acids, Cashew, Cardanol, Occidental, Constituents, Esters, Oils

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