Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 35(5), 589 (2019).

Catalytic Deacetylation of p-Nitrophenyl Thioacetate by Cyanide Ion and Its Sensor Applications
Hyeoun Ji PARK and Soo Suk LEE
Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, Soonchunhyang University, 22 Soonchunhyangro, Shinchang-myeon, Asan-si, Chungcheongnam-do 31538, Republic of Korea
We demonstrated a simple and rapid deacetylation reaction of p-nitrophenyl thioacetate by cyanide ion. This reaction is caused by the strong nucleophilic tendency of the cyanide ion to the electrophilic substrate and has been previously reported as the most common method for detecting cyanide ions. Tetrabutylammonium cyanide and sodium cyanide can be used as sources of cyanide ions for catalytic deacetylation reactions. Both catalysts showed almost the same catalytic reaction and the catalytic reaction was instantaneous at room temperature with a minimum concentration of cyanide ions of up to 1.0 μM. Cyanide did not catalyze the deacetylation reaction of p-nitropnenyl acetate due to a decrease in the nucleofugality of the leaving group and a decrease in the electrophilicity of carbonyl carbon in the substrate. However, the only disadvantage of this reaction system is the interference with other anions, such as acetate and azide, which also have nucleophilicity toward an electrophilic substrate. If these problems are improved, the system could be applied as a very efficient cyanide ion sensor.