According to the relevant literature, the Diels-Alder reaction of furan without a catalyst can last several weeks and shows a low yield due to the diene's low reactivity. The use of Lewis acid catalysts or high pressures is described as an effective method for improving the reaction yields. This paper describes our recent study on the use of niobium pentachloride as the catalyst in Diels-Alder reactions between furan and several reactive dienophiles, among which methyl acrylate showed good yields, especially at lower temperatures. Other dienophiles have shown lower yields because of problems such as byproduct formation and the high reversibility of the reaction.
niobium pentachloride; Diels-Alder; furan