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DOI: 10.1055/sos-SD-025-00443

Schall, A.; Reiser, O.Science of Synthesis, (200725606.

Although only few examples are known, direct formylation of phenols by formic acid can be successfully carried out, albeit in moderate yields. Boron trichloride or tribromide are the best activators. 2-Naphthol (1) can be transformed to 2-hydroxy-1-naphthaldehyde (3) in a respectable yield of 70% using boron tribromide (Scheme 2).[‌9‌] The reaction might proceed through similar intermediates 2 as those discussed in Section for the Fries rearrangement of aryl formates.

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