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The synthesis of the azoxybenzenes by the reduction of nitroarenes with reducing agent potassium borohydride in water was reported for the first time. PEG-400 was used as a phase transfer catalyst and could effectively catalyze the reduction. The electronic effects of substituent groups play an important role in determining the reduction efficiencies. Electron-withdrawing substituents promote the formation of the azoxybenzene products, while electron-releasing groups retard the reductions todoi:10.3390/molecules16053563 pmid:21527883 fatcat:c2jmjnpjubftxpui3zflmxt3lm