Vanillin based polymers: III. Electrochemical dimerization of vanillin revisited and synthesis of hydrovanilloin–formaldehyde polymer

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Electrochemical dimerization of vanillin in basic medium produced mixtures of meso/DL-hydrovanilloins, in contrary to earlier claims of the formation of meso-hydrovanilloin as the sole product. In the reinvestigation we have found that meso-percentage depends on the current density and the highest meso-percentage of 94% is achieved under 64 mA/cm2 current density, using Pb electrodes and 1.25 M aqueous NaOH as the electrolyte. Condensation of the renewable resources based monomer hydrovanilloin with formaldehyde in aqueous NaOH gives hydrovanilloin–formaldehyde polymer in 91% yield. The linear polymer is shown to contain hydrovanilloin units with methylene bridges connecting C-6 positions of the aromatic rings.

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