Alkenes Reactions | Organic Chemistry
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Reactions of Alkenes
cyclic bromonium ion

We have seen that an alkene such as 2-butene undergoes an electrophilic addition reaction with HBr (Section 3.6). The first step of the reaction is a relatively slow addition of the electrophilic proton to the nucleophilic alkene to form a carbocation intermediate. In the second step, the positively charged carbocation intermediate (an electrophile) reacts rapidly with the negatively charged bromide ion (a nucleophile).
carbocation intermediate
In this chapter, we will look at a wide variety of alkene reactions. You will see that some of the reactions form carbocation intermediates like the one formed when HBr reacts with an alkene, some form other kinds of intermediates, and some don’t form an intermediate at all. At first, the reactions covered in this chapter might appear to be quite different, but you will see that they all occur by similar mechanisms. So as you study each reaction, notice the feature that all alkene reactions have in common: The relatively loosely held π electrons of the carbon–carbon double bond are attracted to an electrophile. Thus, each reaction starts with the addition of an electrophile to one of the sp2 carbons of the alkene and concludes with the addition of a nucleophile to the other sp2 carbon. The end result is that the π bond breaks and the sp2 carbons form new ϭ bonds with the electrophile and the nucleophile.
ϭ bonds with the electrophile and the nucleophile
This reactivity makes alkenes an important class of organic compounds because they can be used to synthesize a wide variety of other compounds. For example, alkyl halides, alcohols, ethers, and alkanes all can be synthesized from alkenes by electrophilic addition reactions. The particular product obtained depends only on the electrophile and the nucleophile used in the addition reaction.

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Expand Reactions of Alkanes - RadicalsReactions of Alkanes - Radicals

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