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organic reactions

Thursday 31 July 2008

Definition: Organic reactions are chemical reactions involving organic compounds.

While pure hydrocarbons undergo certain limited classes of reactions, many more reactions which organic compounds undergo are largely determined by functional groups.

The general theory of these reactions involves careful analysis of such properties as the electron affinity of key atoms, bond strengths and steric hindrance.

These issues can determine the relative stability of short-lived reactive intermediates, which usually directly determine the path of the reaction. An example of a common reaction is a substitution reaction written as:

Nu− + C-X → C-Nu + X− where X is some functional group and Nu is a nucleophile.

There are many important aspects of a specific reaction. Whether it will occur spontaneously or not is determined by the Gibbs free energy change of the reaction.

The heat that is either produced or needed by the reaction is found from the total enthalpy change.

Other concerns include whether side reactions occur from the same reaction conditions.

Any side reactions which occur typically produce undesired compounds which may be anywhere from very easy or very difficult to separate from the desired compound.

See also

- organic compounds