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Grade: 11
        What will happen if 2 different alkyl halides are taken in wurtz reaction
2 years ago

Answers : (1)

24720 Points
Dear Ayush
if two different alkyl halides are used in Wurtz reaction to prepare an alkane with odd number of carbon atoms ,...a mixture of three alkanes is actually produced...this is due to the reason that the two alkyli halides in addition to reacting with each other also react among themselves giving a mixture of three alkanes... 
for example consider iodomethane (CH3-I) and iodoethane (CH3-CH2-I) and you want to prepare propane by Wurtz reaction then these reactions will take place: 
CH3-I + 2Na + I-CH2-CH3 -----> CH3-CH2-CH3 + 2NaI 
CH3-I + 2Na + I-CH3 -----> CH3-CH3 + 2NaI 
CH3-CH2-I + 2Na + I-CH2-CH3 ------> CH3-CH2-CH2-CH3 + 2NaI 

the boiling point of these alkanes are very close(as molecular mass is almost same) and hence they cannot be separated by fractional distillation is because of this drawback that Wurtz reaction is used for synthesis of only symmetrical alkanes and not for preparation of unsymmetrical alkanes i.e. alkanes containing odd number of carbon atoms
Arun (askIITians forum expert)
2 years ago
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