A method is described for the highly selective oxidation of cyclohexylbenzene to cyclohexylbenzene-1-hydroperoxide. In the presence of 0.5 mol% N-hydroxyphthalimide (NHPI) and 2 mol% of the hydroperoxide product, without solvent, a selectivity of ca. 98% to the desired product was obtained at 32% conversion. The use of NHPI increases the selectivity for initial H-abstraction from the 1-position, vs the other positions in the cyclohexyl ring, suppresses byproduct formation via transannular hydrogen abstraction and increases the overall rate of reaction.
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