Skip to main content
Chemistry LibreTexts

Clemmensen Reduction

  • Page ID
  • The reaction of aldehydes and ketones with zinc amalgam (Zn/Hg alloy) in concentrated hydrochloric acid, which reduces the aldehyde or ketone to a hydrocarbon, is called Clemmensen reduction. eg:

    The mechanism of Clemmensen reduction is not fully understood; intermediacy of radicals are implicated. The Clemmensen reduction is complementary to Wolff-Kishner reduction, which also converts aldehydes and ketones to hydrocarbons, in that the former is carried out in strongly acidic conditions and the latter in strongly basic conditions.

    Contributors and Attributions

    • Was this article helpful?