Name Reactions in Organic Chemistry

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Organic Chemistry Name Reactions

Name reactions are organic chemistry reactions that have been given the name of the persons who described them.
Name reactions are organic chemistry reactions that have been given the name of the persons who described them. geopaul, Getty Images

There are several important name reactions in organic chemistry, called such because they either bear the names of the persons who described them or else are called by a specific name in texts and journals. Sometimes the name offers a clue about the reactants and products, but not always. Here are the names and equations for key reactions, listed in alphabetical order.

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Acetoacetic-Ester Condensation Reaction

This is the acetoacetic-ester condensation reaction.
This is the acetoacetic-ester condensation reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The acetoacetic-ester condensation reaction converts a pair of ethyl acetate (CH3COOC2H5) molecules into ethyl acetoacetate (CH3COCH2COOC2H5) and ethanol (CH3CH2OH) in the presence of sodium ethoxide (NaOEt) and hydronium ions (H3O+).

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Acetoacetic Ester Synthesis

This is the general form of the acetoacetic ester synthesis reaction.
This is the general form of the acetoacetic ester synthesis reaction. Todd Helmenstine

In this organic name reaction, the acetoacetic ester synthesis reaction converts a α-keto acetic acid into a ketone.

The most acidic methylene group reacts with the base and attaches the alkyl group in its place.
The product of this reaction can be treated again with the same or different alkylation agent (the downward reaction) to create a dialkyl product.

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Acyloin Condensation

This is the acyloin condensation reaction.
This is the acyloin condensation reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The acyloin condensation reaction joins two carboxylic esters in the presence of sodium metal to produce a α-hydroxyketone, also known as a acyloin.

The intramolecular acyloin condensation can be used to close rings as in the second reaction. 

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Alder-Ene Reaction or Ene Reaction

This is the general form of the Alder-Ene or Ene reaction.
This is the general form of the Alder-Ene or Ene reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Alder-Ene reaction, also known as the Ene reaction is a group reaction which combines an ene and enophile. The ene is an alkene with an allylic hydrogen and the enophile is a multiple bond. The reaction produces an alkene where the double bond is shifted to the allylic position.

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Aldol Reaction or Aldol Addition

This is the general form for the aldol reaction.
This is the general form for the aldol reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The aldol addition reaction is the combination of an alkene or ketone and the carbonyl of another aldehyde or ketone to form a β-hydroxy aldehyde or ketone.

Aldol is a combination of the terms 'aldehyde' and 'alcohol'.

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Aldol Condensation Reaction

This is the general form of the aldol condensation reaction.
This is the general form of the aldol condensation reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The aldol condensation removes the hydroxyl group formed by the aldol addition reaction in the form of water in the presence of a acid or base.

The aldol condensation forms α,β-unsaturated carbonyl compounds. 

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Appel Reaction

This is the general form of the Appel reaction.
This is the general form of the Appel reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Appel reaction converts an alcohol to an alkyl halide using triphenylphosphine (PPh3) and either tetrachloromethane (CCl4) or tetrabromomethane (CBr4).

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Arbuzov Reaction or Michaelis-Arbuzov Reaction

This is the general form of the Arbuzov reaction, also known as the Michaelis-Arbuzov reaction.
This is the general form of the Arbuzov reaction, also known as the Michaelis-Arbuzov reaction. The X is a halogen atom. Todd Helmenstine

The Arbuzov or Michaelis-Arbuzov reaction combines a trialkyl phosphate with an alkyl halide (The X in the reaction is a halogen) to form a alkyl phosphonate.

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Arndt-Eistert Synthesis Reaction

This is the Arndt-Eistert synthesis reaction.
This is the Arndt-Eistert synthesis reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Arndt-Eistert synthesis is a progression of reactions to create a carboxylic acid homologue.

This synthesis adds a carbon atom to an existing carboxylic acid.

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Azo Coupling Reaction

This is the azo coupling reaction used to create azo compounds.
This is the azo coupling reaction used to create azo compounds. Todd Helmenstine

The azo coupling reaction combines diazonium ions with aromatic compounds to form azo compounds.

Azo coupling is commonly used to create pigments and dyes.

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Baeyer-Villiger Oxidation - Named Organic Reactions

This is the general form of the Baeyer-Villiger oxidation reaction.
This is the general form of the Baeyer-Villiger oxidation reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Baeyer-Villiger oxidation reaction converts a ketone into an ester. This reaction requires the presence of a peracid such as mCPBA or peroxyacetic acid. Hydrogen peroxide can be used in conjunction with a Lewis base to form a lactone ester. 

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Baker-Venkataraman Rearrangement

This is the general form of the Baker-Venkataraman rearrangement reaction.
This is the general form of the Baker-Venkataraman rearrangement reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Baker-Venkataraman rearrangement reaction converts an ortho-acylated phenol ester into a 1,3-diketone.

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Balz-Schiemann Reaction

This is a general structure of the Balz-Schiemann reaction.
This is a general structure of the Balz-Schiemann reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Balz-Schiemann reaction is a method to convert aryl amines by diazotisation to aryl fluorides. 

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Bamford-Stevens Reaction

This is the general form of the Bamford-Stevens reaction.
This is the general form of the Bamford-Stevens reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Bamford-Stevens reaction converts tosylhydrazones into alkenes in the presence of a strong base.

The type of alkene depends on the solvent used. Protic solvents will produce carbenium ions and aprotic solvents will produce carbene ions. 

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Barton Decarboxylation

This is the general form of the Barton decarboxylation reaction.
This is the general form of the Barton decarboxylation reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Barton decarboxylation reaction converts a carboxylic acid into a thiohydroxamate ester, commonly called a Barton ester, and then reduced into the corresponding alkane.

DCC is N,N'-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide

DMAP is 4-dimethylaminopyridine

AIBN is 2,2'-azobisisobutyronitrile. 

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Barton Deoxygenation Reaction - Barton-McCombie Reaction

This is the general form of the Barton deoxygenation, also known as the Barton-McCombie reaction.
This is the general form of the Barton deoxygenation, also known as the Barton-McCombie reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Barton deoxygenation reaction removes the oxygen from alkyl alcohols.

The hydroxy group is replaced by a hydride to form a thiocarbonyl derivative, which is then treated with Bu3SNH which carries away everything except the desired radical. 

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Baylis-Hillman Reaction

This is the general form of the Baylis-Hillman reaction.
This is the general form of the Baylis-Hillman reaction. Todd Helmenstine

 The Baylis-Hillman reaction combines an aldehyde with an activated alkene. This reaction is catalyzed with a tertiary amine molecule such as DABCO (1,4-Diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane).


EWG is an Electron Withdrawing Group where electrons are withdrawn from aromatic rings.

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Beckmann Rearrangement Reaction

This is the general form of the Beckmann rearrangement reaction.
This is the general form of the Beckmann rearrangement reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Beckmann rearrangement reaction converts oximes into amides.
Cyclic oximes will produce lactam molecules. 

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Benzilic Acid Rearrangement

This is the general form of the benzilic acid rearrangement reaction.
This is the general form of the benzilic acid rearrangement reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The benzilic acid Rearrangement reaction rearranges a 1,2-diketone into an α-hydroxycarboxylic acid in the presence of a strong base.

Cyclic diketones will contract the ring by the benzilic acid rearrangement.

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Benzoin Condensation Reaction

This is an example of the benzoin condensation reaction.
This is an example of the benzoin condensation reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The benzoin condensation reaction condenses a pair of aromatic aldehydes into an α-hydroxyketone. 

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Bergman Cycloaromatization - Bergman Cyclization

This is an example of the Berman cycloaromatization reaction.
This is an example of the Berman cycloaromatization reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Bergman cycloaromatization, also known as the Bergman cyclization, creates enediyenes from substituted arenes in the presence of a proton donor like 1,4-cyclohexadiene. This reaction can be initiated by either light or heat.

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Bestmann-Ohira Reagent Reaction

This is the Bestmann-Ohira Reagent reaction.
This is the Bestmann-Ohira Reagent reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Bestmann-Ohira reagent reaction is a special case of the Seyferth-Gilbert homolgation reaction.

The Bestmann-Ohira reagent uses dimethyl 1-diazo-2-oxopropylphosphonate to form alkynes from an aldehyde.

THF is tetrahydrofuran.

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Biginelli Reaction

This is an example of the Biginelli reaction.
This is an example of the Biginelli reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Biginelli reaction combines ethyl acetoacetate, an aryl aldehyde, and urea to form dihydropyrimidones (DHPMs).

The aryl aldehyde in this example is benzaldehyde.

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Birch Reduction Reaction

This is a simple form of the Birch reduction reaction.
This is a simple form of the Birch reduction reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Birch reduction reaction converts aromatic compounds with benzenoid rings into 1,4-cyclohexadienes. The reaction takes place in ammonia, an alcohol and in the presence of sodium, lithium or potassium.

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Bicschler-Napieralski Reaction - Bicschler-Napieralski Cyclization

This is a general form of the Bicschler-Napieralski reaction.
This is a general form of the Bicschler-Napieralski reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Bicschler-Napieralski reaction creates dihydroisoquinolines through the cyclization of β-ethylamides or β-ethylcarbamates. 

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Blaise Reaction

This is the general form of the Blaise reaction.
This is the general form of the Blaise reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Blaise reaction combines nitriles and α-haloesters using zinc as a mediator to form β-enamino esters or β-keto esters. The form the product produces depends on the addition of the acid.

THF in the reaction is tetrahydrofuran.

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Blanc Reaction

This is a general form of a Blanc reaction.
This is a general form of a Blanc reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Blanc reaction produces chloromethylated arenes from an arene, formaldehyde, HCl, and zinc chloride.

If the concentration of the solution is high enough, a secondary reaction with the product and the arenes will follow the second reaction.

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Bohlmann-Rahtz Pyridine Synthesis

This is the general form of the Bohlmann-Rahtz pyridine synthesis.
This is the general form of the Bohlmann-Rahtz pyridine synthesis. Todd Helmenstine

The Bohlmann-Rahtz pyridine synthesis creates substituted pyridines by condensing enamines and ethynylketones into an aminodiene and then a 2,3,6-trisubstituted pyridine.

The EWG radical is an electron withdrawing group. 

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Bouveault-Blanc Reduction

This is the general form of the Bouveault-Blanc reduction.
This is the general form of the Bouveault-Blanc reduction. Todd Helmenstine

The Bouveault-Blanc reduction reduces esters to alcohols in the presence of ethanol and sodium metal. 

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Brook Rearrangement

This is a general form of the Brook rearrangement.
This is a general form of the Brook rearrangement. Todd Helmenstine

 The Brook rearrangement transports the silyl group on an α-silyl carbinol from a carbon to the oxygen in the presence of a base catalyst.

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Brown Hydroboration

This is the general form of the Brown hydroboration.
This is the general form of the Brown hydroboration. Todd Helmenstine

The Brown hydroboration reaction combines hydroborane compounds to alkenes. The boron will bond with the least hindered carbon. 

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Bucherer-Bergs Reaction

This is the general form of the Bucherer-Bergs reaction.
This is the general form of the Bucherer-Bergs reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Bucherer-Bergs reaction combines a ketone, potassium cyanide and ammonium carbonate to form hydantoins.

The second reaction shows a cyanohydrin and ammonium carbonate forms the same product.

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Buchwald-Hartwig Cross Coupling Reaction

This is the general form of the Buchwald-Hartwig cross coupling reaction.
This is the general form of the Buchwald-Hartwig cross coupling reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Buchwald-Hartwig cross coupling reaction forms aryl amines from aryl halides or pseudohalides and primary or secondary amines using a palladium catalyst.

The second reaction shows the synthesis of aryl ethers using a similar mechanism.

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Cadiot-Chodkiewicz Coupling Reaction

This is a general form of the Cadiot-Chodkiewicz coupling reaction.
This is a general form of the Cadiot-Chodkiewicz coupling reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Cadiot-Chodkiewicz coupling reaction creates bisacetylenes from the combination of a terminal alkyne and an alkynyl halide using a copper(I) salt as a catalyst. 

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Cannizzaro Reaction

This is the general form of the Cannizzaro reaction.
This is the general form of the Cannizzaro reaction. Todd Helmenstine

 The Cannizzaro reaction is a redox disproportionation of aldehydes to carboxylic acids and alcohols in the presence of a a strong base.

The second reaction uses a similar mechanism with α-keto aldehydes.

The Cannizzaro reaction sometimes produces unwanted byproducts in reactions involving aldehydes in basic conditions.

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Chan-Lam Coupling Reaction

Chan-Lam Coupling Reaction
Chan-Lam Coupling Reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Chan-Lam coupling reaction forms aryl carbon-heteroatom bonds by combining arylboronic compounds, stannanes, or siloxanes with compounds containing either a N-H or O-H bond.

The reaction uses a copper as a catalyst which can be reoxidized by oxygen in the air at room temperature. Substrates can include amines, amides, anilines, carbamates, imides, sulfonamides and ureas.

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Crossed Cannizzaro Reaction

This is the crossed Cannizzaro reaction.
This is the crossed Cannizzaro reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The crossed Cannizzaro reaction is a variant of the Cannizzaro reaction where formaldehyde is a reducing agent.

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Friedel-Crafts Reaction

Friedel-Crafts Reaction
This is the general form of a Friedel-Crafts Reaction. Todd Helmenstine

A Friedel-Crafts reaction involves the alkylation of benzene.

When a haloalkane is reacted with benzene using a Lewis acid (commonly an aluminum halide) as a catalyst will attach the alkane to the benzene ring and produce excess hydrogen halide.

Also called Friedel-Crafts alkylation of benzene.

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Huisgen Azide-Alkyne Cycloaddition Reaction

These reactions are the general form of the Huisgen azide-alkyne cycloaddition reaction.
These reactions are the general form of the Huisgen azide-alkyne cycloaddition reactions to form triazole compounds. Todd Helmenstine

The Huisgen Azide=Alkyne cycloadditon combines an azide compound with an alkyne compound to form a triazole compound.

The first reaction requires only heat and forms 1,2,3-triazoles.

The second reaction uses a copper catalyst to form only 1,3-triazoles.

The third reaction uses a ruthenium and cyclopentadienyl (Cp) compound as a catalyst to form 1,5-triazoles.

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Itsuno-Corey Reduction - Corey-Bakshi-Shibata Readuction

This is the general form of the Itsuno-Corey reduction.
This is the general form of the Itsuno-Corey reduction, also known as the Corey-Bakshi-Shibata (CBS) reduction. Todd Helmenstine

The Itsuno-Corey Reduction, also known as the Corey-Bakshi-Shibata Readuction (CBS reduction for short) is an enantioselective reduction of ketones in the presence of a chiral oxazaborolidine catalyst (CBS catalyst) and borane.

THF in this reaction is tetrahydrofuran. 

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Seyferth-Gilbert Homologation Reaction

This is the general form of the Seyferth-Gilbert homologation reaction.
This is the general form of the Seyferth-Gilbert homologation reaction. Todd Helmenstine

The Seyferth-Gilbert homologation reacts aldehydes and aryl ketones with dimethyl (diazomethyl)phosphonate to synthesize alkynes at low temperatures.

THF is tetrahydrofuran.