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Reaction of an Alcohol to Produce an Alkyl Halide

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N-butanol reacts with NaBr and H2SO4 to produce n-butyl bromide, via refluxation reaction in a lab experiment.

a) Why is an excess of sulphuric acid used?

b) Why is concentrated sulphuric acid is more effective than water in removing trace amounts of alcohol to form an alkyl halide?

c) What two other organic products may be formed during the reaction?

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Solution Summary

The solution clearly explains the theory involved to facilitate understanding of the refluxation reaction in question.

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a. Usually excess acid is used to make sure that we have enough protonation of the OH group on the alcohol in order to promote the formation of the alkyl bromide. Since the protonation of the alcohol group on the butanol is a reversible ...

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