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Chemistry LibreTexts

26.1: Introduction

  • Page ID
    221654
  • INTRODUCTION: The Wittig reaction is a method for the synthesis of alkenes from carbonyl compounds. An aldehyde or a ketone can react with a substance known as a phosophorus ylide to yield a variety of alkenes with different degrees of substitution and specific structural features. This reaction is a more elegant way for to synthesize alkenes than regular elimination reactions because it is very flexible in terms of tailoring product structure and affords good yields.

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    One of the greatest advantages of the Wittig reaction is that the position of the double bond in the product is unambiguous, compared to elimination reactions, where the product is usually a mixture of isomers.

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