Baeyer-Villiger Oxidation

The Baeyer-Villiger Oxidation involves the transformation of a ketone to an ester or lactone. The insertion of the oxygen adjacent to the carbonyl functionality takes place via a oxidative cleavage using peracids or peroxide together with a Lewis acid.


In the reaction, the most electron-rich alkyl group migrates first, giving general migration order of:

tertiary alkyl>cyclohexyl>secondary alkyl>benzyl>phenyl>primary alkyl>methyl>>H


1) A. Baeyer, V. Villiger Ber. Dtsch. Chem. Ges1899, 32, 3625. Baeyer was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1905.