How Heat Affects Elimination Reactions

by James


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan April 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Thank you so very much for this well explained diagram. I am an Organic Chemistry student at the University of South Florida. I have been struggleing with understanding the mechanism for the favorability of elimination do to heat, and this absolutly cleared up any confusion. This is my first time on this site, but I wish I had found it sooner.


james April 5, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Very glad to hear it. Thanks!


Shawn June 30, 2014 at 1:00 am

Hi James,

Not sure if you still check this, but question about the change in entropy. While the increase in products of an elimination reaction will have an increased entropy in regards to the number of products formed, wouldn’t the presence of a double bond also need to be accounted for as that would decrease the entropy (less rotational freedom than single bonds). Is it a general rule that increase products is a greater entropy effect than change in bond rotational freedom?


James June 30, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Great question. You are correct that there would be less conformational freedom for an alkene. To be honest, I don’t know the relative contributions of the two factors under consideration [loss of alkene conformational freedom vs. increased translational + rotational freedom for the expelled group]. My hunch is that the latter is a more important contribution, but I might be speaking ex recto here.


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