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Grade: Upto college level
        knoevenagel mechanism
7 years ago

Answers : (2)

AKASH GOYAL AskiitiansExpert-IITD
419 Points
							Dear Student

The Knoevenagel Reaction is where aldehyde or ketones, which don't normally contain an a hydrogen, perform a condensation reaction with compounds of the form Z-CH2-Z' or Z-CHR-Z'. The Z groups are electron withdrawing groups, such as CHO, COR, COOH, COOR, CN, NO2, SOR, SO2R, SO2OR or similar groups. The Knoevenagel Reaction is a modified version of the aldol reaction. The reaction serves particularly for the chain extension of more aromatic aldehydes. However, if a strong enough base is used then the reaction can be performed on compounds possessing only one Z group, i.e. CH3Z. Plus, other active hydrocarbons can be used, such as CHCl3, cyclopentadienes, to name a couple. In reality, any compound that contains a C-H bond that can be removed by a base can be used.

A few examples are listed below:-

Knoevenagel Examples
Examples of the Knoevenagel reactions

However, there is a simpler pattern than these. There is a basic formula of reactants, and this is shown below, bearing in mind that R is any hydrocarbon group and Z is the list of groups above.

Fundamental Knoevenagel Reaction
The basics of the Knoevenagel reaction

Using this method many important compounds can be made from existing chemicals.
Mechanism

The mechanism is complex, but will explained as clearly as possible. In this example, I will use benzaldehyde and a 1,3-diketone, ethyl-3-oxobutanoate, with 2,6-diethylpiperidine as the base. The first step is that the base will attack a benzaldehyde molecule at the carbonyl positon, and this is helped by the product being a stable iminium salt, stabilised by the weak acid.

Formation of the Iminium Salt From The Benzaldehyde
First Step: Formation of the Iminium Salt From The Benzaldehyde

Also, the ethyl-3-oxobutanoate also undergoes enolisation, and therefore will be able to attack the iminium salt, and so complete the reaction. As a side point, without this iminium salt it would be very doutbful if the reaction would proceed. This is beacuse the two reaction species would both be neutral. It would be very unlikely for a neutral enol to react with a neutral aldehyde. Therefore a positive charge is needed on one of the species, and the easiest thing would be to protonate the aldehyde. However, since the Knoevenagel Reaction is performed in base coniditons, then it will not be possible to protonate the aldehyde. Turning it into an iminium salt means that the positive charge is allowed and that the aldehyde is now reactive enough for the reaction to proceed.

Formation of the Enol of the 1,3-diketone
First Step: Formation of the Enol of the 1,3-diketone

As you can see, the intermediate has two forms of enol. However, both reaction paths will go through the same carbon atom, and so there will be only one product.

Mechanism of the Knovenagel Reaction
                                                          Mechanism of the Knovenagel Reaction
All the best.                                                           

AKASH GOYAL

AskiitiansExpert-IITD


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7 years ago
SAGAR SINGH - IIT DELHI
879 Points
							Dear student,

Knoevenagel Condensation
Doebner Modification

The condensation of carbon acid compounds with aldehydes to afford α,β-unsaturated compounds.

The Doebner Modification, which is possible in the presence of carboxylic acid groups, includes a pyridine-induced decarboxylation.


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Askiitians Expert

Sagar Singh

B.Tech, IIT Delhi
7 years ago
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