Master Organic Chemistry Reaction Guide

Addition of NaBH4 to ketones to give secondary alcohols

Description:  Addition of sodium borohydride (NaBH4) to ketones gives secondary alcohols (after addition of acid) 

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Comment section

5 thoughts on “Addition of NaBH4 to ketones to give secondary alcohols

  1. Does nabh4 also give conjugated nucleophillic addition reaction with alpha beta unsaturated ketone?

    1. It can; you might find this to be somewhat textbook dependent. In practice, it can go either way. To get addition to occur exclusively on the carbonyl carbon, sometimes cerium trichloride is used. Google “Luche reduction”

    1. The hydride in NaH behaves like a strong base rather than a nucleophile. Since hydride is so small, it’s not polarizable and therefore not nucleophilic. BH4- is nucleophilic.

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