Master Organic Chemistry Reaction Guide

Hell-Vollhard-Zelinsky Reaction

Description: The Hell-Vollhard-Zelinsky [HVZ] reaction is a means of converting a carboxylic acid to a brominated carboxylic acid (the bromine ends up on the alpha carbon of the carboxylic acid).

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Real-Life Examples:

Org. Synth. 1925, 4, 9

DOI Link: 10.15227/orgsyn.004.0009

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Org. Synth. 1941, 21, 74

DOI Link: 10.15227/orgsyn.021.0074

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Org. Synth. 1940, 20, 106

DOI Link: 10.15227/orgsyn.020.0106

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Org. Synth. 1959, 39, 19

DOI Link: 10.15227/orgsyn.003.0029

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Org. Synth. 1957, 37, 29

DOI Link: 10.15227/orgsyn.037.0029

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Org. Synth. 1958, 38, 47

DOI Link: 10.15227/orgsyn.038.0047

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Comment section

5 thoughts on “Hell-Vollhard-Zelinsky Reaction

    1. Probably not that much. Over time, you might start getting replacement of the Br with OH, but that would require water acting as a nucleophile. With enough heat you might start to eliminate to give the double bond. However both of these are going to be fairly slow reactions.

      1. If heat is present as well, you have carboxylic acid + H3O+ + heat = decarboxylation, giving you an alkyl halide?

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