Master Organic Chemistry Reaction Guide

Friedel Crafts alkylation of arenes

Description: In the presence of a catalyst such as FeCl3 or AlCl3 treatment of an aromatic with an alkyl chloride provides an aromatic alkane. This reaction is called “Friedel-Crafts alkylation” .
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5 thoughts on “Friedel Crafts alkylation of arenes

    1. They generally don’t occur when meta-directing groups are present, but FC alkylations are possible when a single halogen atom is present.

  1. I have a question, but Ive heard FC alkylation reaction makes multi-substitution product. And is it right if there is Halogen already in Benzene, FC makes only one-substitution product??

    Thanks.

    1. Yes, that is correct. Friedel-Crafts alkylation results in a more electron-rich aromatic ring, which can then compete with the starting aromatic ring for the electrophile. It’s a Cookie Monster reaction. If there is an electron-withdrawing substituent (like Cl) this will be less likely to happen.

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