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Chemistry LibreTexts

22.0 Introduction

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  • Objectives

    After completing this section, you should be able to write a general mechanism for an alpha‑substitution reaction of a carbonyl compound.

    Key Terms

    Make certain that you can define, and use in context, the key terms below.

    • alpha (α) position
    • alpha‑substitution reaction

    Study Notes

    An “alpha‑substitution reaction” of a carbonyl compound is a reaction in which one of the hydrogen atoms on the carbon adjacent to the carbonyl group is substituted by some other atom or group. Attack by the electrophile (E+) can occur on the enol or enolate intermediate.

    alpha substitution reaction through enol and enolate intermdediates


    Dr. Dietmar Kennepohl FCIC (Professor of Chemistry, Athabasca University)