We report a Ti(OiPr)4/pyridine mediated Knoevenagel reaction between aromatic ketones and cyanoacetamides to provide Knoevenagel olefin products in good to excellent yields. Almost in all cases studied, a single geometrical isomer was formed and isolated under the Ti(OiPr)4/pyridine condensation conditions. This methodology was also demonstrated to be highly effective between some other Knoevenagel active methylene compounds and aromatic ketones.
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