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Thread: How do alcohols dehydrate?

  1. #1 How do alcohols dehydrate? 
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    Hello,

    Ive heard somewhere that when alcohols dehydrate ( H2S04 & 170 ) a mixture of 2 substance is formed. For example:


    Is that really the case?




    Thanks in advance!


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  3. #2  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    What is basically happening is that the acid is making the alcohol eliminate water. It occurs via an E1 or E2 elimination mechanism depending on whether the alcohol is primary (via E2) or secondary/tertiary (via E1). As to why 2 products are formed it is due to carbocation rearrangement in the E2 mechanism, see the section on "Hydride and Alkyl shifts" in the link below for details.

    Edit to add, quick google gave this link: Alkenes by Dehydration of Alcohols - Chemwiki

    which is pretty much exactly what you need...


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  4. #3  
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    Thank you for confirming this! I knew this was the case.
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