Chemistry of Alkyl Halides, Alcohols & Ethers

The alcohols are widely used as solvents and as intermediates for the synthesis of more complex substances. The simple ethers, ROR, do not have 0-H bonds, and most of their reactions are limited to the substituent groups. Alcohols are substantially less volatile, have higher melting points, and greater water solubility than the corresponding hydrocarbons. When alcohols react with a hydrogen halide, a substitution takes place producing an alkyl halide and water: 

 alcohol is converted into alkyl halide the reaction is carried in the presence of acid and halide ions and not at elevated temperatures. Halide ions are good nucleophiles and since halide ions are present in high concentration, most of the carbocations react with an electron pair of a halide ion to form a more stable species, the alkyl halide product. The overall result is an SN1 reaction. 
Nomenclature of Alkyl Halides, alcohols and ethers
Common Nomenclature
Substitutive nomenclature
Ethanol reacts very slowly with methyl iodide to give methyl ethyl ether, but sodium ethoxide in ethanol solution reacts quite rapidly. In fact, the reaction of alkoxides with alkyl halides or alkyl sulfates is an important general method for the preparation of ethers, and is known as the Williamson synthesis.
 

  • Spectroscopic properties of alcohol
  • Nucleophilic Properties. Ether Formation
  • Biological redox reactions
  • Williamson ether synthesis

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