Posted by: Mark Foreman | January 21, 2012

The eight most important reactions

Dear Reader,

I hold the view that organic chemistry contains very few reactions. often what might look like a “new” reaction is just an existing reaction dressed up in an fancy outfit or a series of more basic reactions which occur in cascade. This fact that first year organic chemistry (and more) can be understood with only eight basic reactions is good news.

The ten reactions are

1. SN2

2. SN1

3. E2

4. E1

5. Attack on a carbonyl group of a nucleophile

6. Oxidation of an alcohol by means of ester formation

7. Aromatic substitution

8. Hydrogenation of some functional groups this is not a core part of the course but it will help you in some problems.

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