Alcohols

Demystifying Alcohol Oxidations

May 21, 2015

Today’s post in a nutshell: The Familiar Key Step At The Heart Of (Almost) All Alcohol Oxidation Reactions When I was learning organic chemistry I remember the reagents for oxidation reactions completely coming out of left field. KMnO4, K2Cr2O7, PCC, CrO3, Swern, Dess—Martin ? Hold on. Where did these reagents come from? How do they […]

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Alcohol Oxidation: “Strong” and “Weak” Oxidants

May 6, 2015

Here’s what we’ll talk about today: reagents for the oxidation of alcohols! Oxidations Of Alcohols With “Eye Of Newt”, “Wing of Bat”, and “Powdered Unicorn Horn” Here we are, at least  fifteen articles into this series on alcohols, and all we’ve really talked about is substitution and elimination reactions, with a little bit of acid-base […]

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Elimination of Alcohols To Alkenes With POCl3

April 28, 2015

Here’s what we talk about today: more eliminations of alcohols!  Note that this reagent isn’t covered in all courses, but I’ll include it here for completeness’ sake. We’ve talked about 2 ways to convert alcohols to alkenes so far: Option #1: Convert the alcohol to an alkyl halide [with SOCl2, PBr3, or a hydrohalic acid] and then […]

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Elimination Reactions of Alcohols

April 16, 2015

Here’s a summary of what we talk about in today’s post. Hydrohalic acids (HX)  plus alcohols give substitution products… We just saw that treating an alcohol with a strong hydrohalic acid – think HCl, HBr, or HI – resulted in the formation of alkyl halides. With a tertiary alcohol like the one drawn below, this […]

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PBr3 and SOCl2

March 20, 2015

Lately we’ve been talking a lot about converting alcohols to good leaving groups [halides] [tosylates and mesylates] You might think we’d be done already, but not yet! In today’s post we talk about a third important method for converting alcohols to good leaving groups – by using the reagents phosphorus tribromide (PBr3) and thionyl chloride […]

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Tosylates And Mesylates

March 10, 2015

Today we’re going to talk about a different way of making alcohols into good leaving groups – by turning them into tosylates and mesylates (“organosulfonates”). Here’s a brief summary of what we’ll cover here: Making Alcohols Into Good Leaving Groups, Part 2 We’ve seen that alcohols are poor substrates for substitution reactions. The main problem is that […]

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Making Alkyl Halides From Alcohols

February 27, 2015

Making Alkyl Halides From Alcohols In today’s post we show that treating alcohols with HCl, HBr, or HI (which all fall under the catch-all term “HX” where X is a halide) results in the formation of alkyl halides. We’ve said many times in this series of posts that alcohols are poor substrates for SN1 and SN2 […]

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Opening Of Epoxide With Base

February 10, 2015

Opening of epoxides with base a summary of what we talk about today: In the last post we discussed the reactions of epoxides under acidic conditions and saw how they resembled the “3-membered ring” family of alkene mechanisms. We left off by noting that the reaction of the epoxide (shown above)  with NaOH in H2O […]

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Opening of Epoxides With Acid

February 2, 2015

Here’s what we’re covering in this post. Opening Epoxides With Aqueous Acid In the last post, we saw some examples of how epoxides are considerably more reactive towards breakage than are ordinary ethers. For example, aqueous acid [often abbreviated “H3O+”] will open an epoxide under MUCH milder conditions than an “ordinary” ether such as diethyl […]

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Epoxides – The Outlier Of The Ether Family

Epoxides – The Outlier Of The Ether Family

January 26, 2015

 In this post we discuss a special class of ethers that has unusually high reactivity due to their ring strain – epoxides. Here’s a summary of what we’ll talk about here:   In the last post, I wrote that ethers were quite possibly the most boring functional group of all, at least from the perspective of reactivity. […]

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