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Chemistry LibreTexts

Deuterium Exchange

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  • Due to the acidic nature of α hydrogens they can be exchanged with deuterium by reaction with D2O (heavy water). The process is accelerated by the addition of an acid or base; an excess of D2O is required. The end result is the complete exchange of all α hydrogens with deuterium.

    General reaction

    Example 1: Deuterium Exchange

    Mechanism in basic conditions

    1) Enolate Formation

    2) Deuteration


    1) Please draw the product for the following reactions.

    2) Answers


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