Reaction Friday: Free-radical chlorination of alkanes

by James

in Alkanes, Alkyl Halides, Organic Chemistry 1

One of the new things I wanted to do this year was to start doing videos. Since I was starting to run out of reagents to talk about for Reagent Friday, one thought was to start talking about reactions instead – and maybe make a video for each.
So today starts a new experiment: Reaction Fridays.
There is no such thing as going from “never made a video” to “making great videos”. So the first many iterations in this series are going to be really crappy! So be it: there’s only one path to getting good – to start off crappy, risk making an ass of yourself in public, embrace your crappiness, and work upwards from there. They can always be remade, incorporating feedback as necessary.

So without further ado, here’s the first installation of Reaction Fridays: The Free-radical chlorination of alkanes!

I’d really welcome any feedback you might have. Is this useful? What could be done better? Feel free to leave a comment, send me an email, or drop an anonymous comment in the Feedback section.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }



Really well done—I can tell you worked your butt off on this. If this is the quality for a crappy reaction like free-radical chlorination (IMHO), I cannot imagine how good more interesting reactions will be! Keep it up!



Great stuff! Just a suggestion: perhaps you could present the information with a powerpoint-like slideshow, so that each individual sentence or reaction pops up on screen as you start dicussing it. That way students can visually focus on one piece of information at a time, without potentially getting distracted or confused by seeing all the information at once.



Thanks! I think you’re right. That would make for a better presentation. I’ll have to start doing that.


dr klbajaj

Your vedio presentation is why cl free radical combines with free radical of c-1 not of c-2and why cl is not selective in its reaction with alkanes but Br is may do the same whenever you feel convenient



Good point – Cl radical is not selective for C-1 over C-2 and either the primary or secondary radical could form. Here I chose to show the radical forming at C-1 although the C-2 radical is an alternate pathway. I’ll link back to this discussion when Br radical is discussed.


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