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Chemistry LibreTexts

19.6: Halogenation of the α- Carbon of Carboxylic Acids: The Hell-Volhard-Zelinski Reaction

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  • Carbon is one of the most common elements on earth, and greatly influences everyday life. Common molecules containing carbon include carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Many scientists in a variety of fields study of carbon: biologists investigating the origins of life; oceanographers measuring the acidification of the oceans; and engineers developing diamond film tools. This article details the periodic properties of the carbon family and briefly discusses of the individual properties of carbon, silicon, germanium, tin, lead, and flerovium.

    • Group 14: General Chemistry
      Covers the Group 4 (IUPAC: Group 14) chemistry (carbon, silicon, germanium, tin and lead) and specifically the trend from non-metal to metal as you go down the group, and the increasing tendency towards an oxidation state of +2. Also a certain amount of chemistry of the chlorides and oxides.
    • Group 14: General Properties and Reactions
      Carbon is one of the most common elements on earth, and greatly influences everyday life. This article details the periodic properties of the carbon family and briefly discusses of the individual properties of carbon, silicon, germanium, tin, lead, and flerovium.
    • Chemistry of Carbon (Z=6)
      Organic chemistry involves structures and reactions of mainly carbon and hydrogen. Inorganic chemistry deal with interactions of all other pure elements besides carbon, amongst geo/biochemistry.  So where does inorganic chemistry of carbon fit in?  The inorganic chemistry of carbon also known as inorganic carbon chemistry, is the chemistry of carbon that does not fall within the organic chemistry zone.
    • Chemistry of Silicon (Z=14)
      Silicon, the second most abundant element on earth, is an essential part of the mineral world. Its stable tetrahedral configuration makes it incredibly versatile and is used in various way in our every day lives. Found in everything from spaceships to synthetic body parts, silicon can be found all around us, and sometimes even in us.
    • Chemistry of Germanium (Z=32)
      Germanium, categorized as a metalloid in group 14, the Carbon family, has five naturally occurring isotopes. Germanium, abundant in the Earth's crust has been said to  improve the immune system of cancer patients. It is also used in transistors, but its most important use is in fiber-optic systems and infrared optics.
    • Chemistry of Tin (Z=50)
      Mentioned in the Hebrew scriptures, tin is of ancient origins. Tin is an element in Group 14 (The carbon family) and has mainly metallic properties. Tin has atomic number 50 and an atomic mass of 118.710 atomic mass units. Tin, or Sn (from the Latin name Stannum) has been known since ancient times, although it could only be obtained by extraction from its ore. Tin shares chemical similarities with germanium and lead. Tin mining began in Australia in 1872 and today Tin is used extensively.
    • Chemistry of Lead (Z=82)
      Although lead is not very common in the earth's crust, what is there is readily available and easy to refine. Its chief use today is in lead-acid storage batteries such as those used in automobiles. In pure form it is too soft to be used for much else. Lead has a blue-white color when first cut but quickly dulls on exposure to air, forming Pb2O, one of the few lead(I) compounds. Most stable lead compounds contain lead in oxidation states of +2 or +4.
    • Chemistry of Flerovium (Z=114)
      The synthesis of element 114 was reported in January of 1999 by scientists from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna (near Moscow) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (in California). In an experiment lasting more than 40 days Russian scientists bombarded a film of Pu-244 supplied by Livermore scientists with a beam of Ca-48. One atom of element 114 was detected with a half-life of more than 30 seconds.