The Chemical Educator

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 1–18 | Cite as

Rheosmin (“Raspberry Ketone”) and Zingerone, and Their Preparation by Crossed Aldol-Catalytic Hydrogenation Sequences

  • Leverett R. SmithEmail author
Laboratories and Demonstrations


Preparations of the two closely-related natural products rheosmin (“raspberry ketone”, 4-(4′-hydroxyphenyl)-2-butanone) and zingerone (4-(4′-hydroxy-3′-methoxyphenyl)-2-butanone), are well-suited for the introductory organic laboratory. The crossed-aldol condensation of 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde with acetone gives an adduct (4-(4′-hydroxyphenyl)-3-buten-2-one), which is hydrogenated cleanly over rhodium on alumina to form rheosmin. Condensation of vanillin with acetone gives 4-(4′-hydroxy-3′-methoxyphenyl)-3-buten-2-one, which is hydrogenated to zingerone. The article includes background information on the target compounds and the synthetic methods used, along with experimental procedures and IR and NMR data on the compounds encountered.


Acetone Ketone Natural Product Target Compound Background Information 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryContra Costa CollegeSan Pablo

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