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what is acidic alpha hydrogen in a molecule?

what is acidic alpha hydrogen in a molecule?

Grade:12

1 Answers

Aarti Gupta
askIITians Faculty 300 Points
6 years ago
The alpha carbon (α carbon) in organic molecules refers to the first carbon atom that attaches to a functional group,such as a carbonyl and the second carbon atom is called the beta carbon.A hydrogen attached to an alpha carbon is called an alpha-hydrogen.
Alkyl hydrogen atoms bonded to a carbon atom in a alpha position relative to a carbonyl group display unusually high acidity.In the presence of carbonyl functional group,alpha-hydrogens of a molecule exhibit acidity i.e.in the presence of a base they can be abstracted very easily to yield a carbanion as in fig.below.The acidity of the α-hydrogen of carbonyl compounds depends on the stability of the carbanion formed.If the carbanion is more stable,the alpha-hydrogen is more acidic and the carbanion can be stabilized either with resonance i.e.the carbanion lone pair to the oxygen of the carbonyl to form the stabilized enolate,or by inductive effect – if electron withdrawing groups are directly attached to the alpha-carbon.213-566_hydrogen.jpg

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