The importance of epoxides as synthetic intermediates in a number of highly added-value chemicals, as well as the search for novel and more sustainable chemical processes have brought considerable attention to the catalytic activity of manganese and iron complexes towards the epoxidation of alkenes using non-toxic terminal oxidants. Particular attention has been given to Mn(salen) and Fe(porphyrin) catalysts. While the former attain remarkable enantioselectivity towards the epoxidation of cis
-alkenes, the latter also serve as an important model for the behavior of cytochrome P450, thus allowing the exploration of complex biological processes. In this review, a systematic survey of the bibliographical data for the theoretical studies on Mn- and Fe-catalyzed epoxidations is presented. The most interesting patterns and trends are reported and finally analyzed using an evaluation framework similar to the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis performed in enterprise media, with the ultimate aim to provide an overview of current trends and areas for future exploration.
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