Alcohols, Phenols and Ethers

Alcohols, Phenols and Ethers

Question

Explain the mechanism of acid catalysed hydration of an alkene to form corresponding alcohol.

Answer

Some reactive alkenes undergo direct hydration in the presence of mineral acids which act as catalysts. The addition of water to the double bond takes place in accordance with Markonikoff’s rule.

The mechanism of reaction involves the following three steps:

(i) Protonation of alkene to form carbocation by electrophilic attack of H3O+.

 

(ii) Nucleophilic attack of water of carbocation.

 

(iii) Deprotonation to from an alcohol.

 

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