Substitution Reactions of Haloalkanes (alkyl halides) Chemistry Tutorial
- Haloalkanes are also known as alkyl halides.(1)
- Haloalkanes (alkyl halides) are compounds containing carbon, hydrogen and a Group 17 (Group VIIA or halogen) atom(2).
Halogens are fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine and astatine.
- Haloalkanes (alkyl halides) have the general formula RX in which R is the carbon chain and X is the halogen atom.
Typically X is Cl, Br or I
- The halogen atom, X, is the functional group and the C-X bond is the site of chemical reactivity.
- Primary haloalkanes (alkyl halides)(3) are haloalkanes in which the halogen atom is attached to a terminal (end) carbon atom in the carbon chain.
- Primary haloalkanes (alkyl halides) undergo substitution reactions(4) in which a different atom, ion or group is substituted for the halogen atom, X:
haloalkane + aqueous hydroxide solution → alkanol + halide salt solution R-X + MOH(aq) → R-OH + MX(aq) haloalkane + carboxylate salt solution → ester + halide salt solution R-X + R'-COO-M+ → R'-COO-R + MX haloalkane + ammonia → alkanaminium halide R-X + NH3 → R-NH3+X- haloalkane + cyanide ion → alkanenitrile + halide ion R-X + CN- → R-CN + X-
- Alcohols, esters, amine salts and nitriles, can be synthesized using substitution reactions of haloalkanes (alkyl halides).