13.3.4 Preparation

1. From alkynes: Alkynes on partial reduction with calculated amount of dihydrogen in the presence of palladised charcoal partially deactivated with poisons like sulphur compounds or quinoline give alkenes.

Partially deactivated palladised charcoal is known as Lindlar’s catalyst. Alkenes thus obtained are having cis geometry. However, alkynes on reduction with sodium in liquid ammonia form trans alkenes.

Will propene thus obtained show geometrical isomerism? Think for the reason in support of your answer.

2. From alkyl halides: Alkyl halides (R-X) on heating with alcoholic potash (potassium hydroxide dissolved in alcohol, say, ethanol) eliminate one molecule of halogen acid to form alkenes.

This reaction is known as dehydrohalogenation i.e., removal of halogen acid. This is example of β-elimination reaction, since hydrogen atom is eliminated from the β carbon atom (carbon atom next to the carbon to which halogen is attached).

Nature of halogen atom and the alkyl group determine rate of the reaction. It is observed that for halogens, the rate is: iodine > bromine > chlorine, while for alkyl groups it is : tert > secondary > primary.

3. From vicinal dihalides: Dihalides in which two halogen atoms are attached to two adjacent carbon atoms are known as vicinal dihalides. Vicinal dihalides on treatment with zinc metal lose a molecule of ZnX2 to form an alkene. This reaction is known as dehalogenation.

4. From alcohols by acidic dehydration: You have read during nomenclature of different homologous series in Unit 12 that alcohols are the hydroxy derivatives of alkanes. They are represented by R–OH where, R is CnH2n+1.

Alcohols on heating with concentrated sulphuric acid form alkenes with the elimination of one water molecule. Since a water molecule is eliminated from the alcohol molecule in the presence of an acid, this reaction is known as acidic dehydration of alcohols.

This reaction is also the example of β-elimination reaction since –OH group takes out one hydrogen atom from the β-carbon atom.


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