Selective Water Addition

Investigations of hydratases from the genus Rhodococcus

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Water addition reactions to (un)-activated double bonds are very rewarding reactions as they elegantly introduce a hydroxyl-group thereby often adding value to the generated product by establishing a novel stereocentre in tertiary, chiral alcohols. However, performing selective water addition reactions is an extremely challenging task using classical, chemical approaches. Next to overall unfavourable reaction equilibria, the unreactive water molecule is a poor nucleophile and therefore requires activation. Furthermore, due to its small size, a controlled, stereo- and regioselective addition is difficult to achieve. Consequently, establishing straightforward processes with a preferably high selectivity under reaction conditions as environmentally benign as possible is of high interest to both industry and academia...