A number of methodologies for the deacetylation have been reported, because the deacetylation is one of the most popular reactions in the protection-deprotection area of organic synthesis. However, many of those were performed under basic or acidic conditions.
We recently have studied the reactions of various acetates with FeCl3 as a catalyst. As a result, we could obtain the corresponding alcohols in excellent yields (>90%) when alkyl and aryl acetates were treated with 10 mol% FeCl3 in methanol at 70℃. This protocol should be a very useful reaction in organic synthesis because of the easy operation, mild condition, and high generality of substrates.