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Organic Chemistry

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Monomers join to form giant molecules in a mysterious manner. Considering a straightforward case of two molecules of ethylene (C2H4), a hydrogen atom may be shifted from one atom to another, and double bond can be changed to a single bond. This results to a new bond being used to connect the two molecules. The resultant is a four-carbon substance.

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CH3-CH2-CH=CH2

The four-carbon molecule still has a double bond. Therefore, it can be combined with yet another ethylene molecule. It forms a six-carbon molecule with only one double bond through shifting its hydrogen atom and opening the double bond.

Methylcyclohexane (A), an alkene, undergoes hydrogenation in the presence of palladium catalyst. Hydrogen adds to the double bond forming methylcyclohexane (B), an alkane. Addition of hydrogen occurs either from above or below the double bond. Methylcyclohexane has no stereochemistry since it is a symmetrical molecule.

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Methylcyclohexane in the presence of UV light undergoes a reaction of bromination where one bromine atom substitutes a hydrogen atom forming 1-bromo-1-methylcyclohexane (E).

Methylcyclohexene is oxidized by ozone in the presence of zinc catalyst and acidified water. Ozone adds to the double bond breaking it, and water contributes OH-ions forming methanoate and isovaleric (C) acid. Methylcyclohexene is reduced by ammonia in the presence of sodium catalyst to methylcyclohexane (D), a reaction which occurs at low temperatures. This reaction is known as birch reaction.

Alkynes undergo ozonolysis to give an ozonide, a compound which is unstable and is hydrolyzed to carboxylic acids. Oxygen adds to the triple bond breaking it.

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Halides reduce alkynes to their constituent alkanes in presence of zinc or copper catalysts.This  kind of addition is called a cis addition.

Lindlar catalyst is used for hydrogenation of alkynes to alkenes as it only reduces a triple bond to a double bond. It, therefore, does not affect double bonds unlike other catalysts which reduce alkynes to alkanes. Osmium tetroxide catalyses cis-hydroxylation of alkenes in the presence of an oxygen source and water to form vicinol diol, and releases osmium oxide.

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