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9.6: Oxidative Cleavage of Alkynes

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    After completing this section, you should be able to

    1. write an equation to represent the oxidative cleavage of an alkyne with potassium permanganate or ozone.
    2. identify the products that result from the oxidative cleavage of a given alkyne.
    3. identify the reagents needed to carry out the oxidative cleavage of an alkyne.
    4. use the results of an oxidative cleavage to determine the identity of an alkyne of unknown structure.
    Study Notes

    Compare the oxidative cleavage of alkynes with the oxidative cleavage of alkenes, discussed in Section 8.8.

    Alkynes, similar to alkenes, can be oxidized gently or strongly depending on the reaction environment. Since alkynes are less stable than alkenens, the reactions conditions can be gentler. For examples, alkynes form vicinal dicarbonyls in neutral permanganate solution.

    Gentle Alkyne Oxidation

    alkyne oxid gentle.png

    Strong Alkyne Oxidation - Oxidative Cleavage

    During strong oxidation with ozone or basic potassium permanganate, the alkyne is cleaved into two products. Because at least one of the reaction products is a carboxylic acid, it is important to consider the acid-base chemistry of the product in the reaction solution. Carboxylic acids are deprotonated in basic solutions to carboxylates. A second reaction step is required to protonate the carboxylate to the neutral form of the carboxylic acid.

    alkyne oxid strong.png


    1. Draw the bond-line structures for the product(s) of the following reactions.

    ch 10 sect 7 exercise question.png



    ch 10 section 7 exercise solution.png

    9.6: Oxidative Cleavage of Alkynes is shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Steven Farmer & Dietmar Kennepohl.