Negative results

The latest data fail to support the hypothesis that a dilute sodium alloy can be used for a Bouveault-Blanc reduction of fatty acid methyl esters (more specifically, methyl stearate) dissolved in toluene with anhydrous ethanol as a proton donor. Given the fact that the intermediates in the Bouveault-Blanc reduction are highly reactive and that it takes 4 sodium atoms per molecule, the low concentration of sodium present in the molten metal alloy may not be enough for the reaction to go to completion.

The ugly fact that there was no evidence of fatty alcohol formation in the gas chromatogram after eight hours of electrolysis leads to an inescapable conclusion: the concept is not viable from a scientific or commercial sense.

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