Chemistry » Organic Molecules » Addition, Elimination And Substitution Reactions

Addition, Elimination and Substitution Reactions

Addition, elimination and substitution reactions

We will study three main types of reactions – addition, elimination and substitution.

  • An addition reaction occurs when two or more reactants combine to form a single product. This product will contain all the atoms that were present in the reactants. Addition reactions occur with unsaturated compounds.

    The general equation for an addition reaction: \(\text{A}+\text{B}\) \(\to\) \(\text{C}\)

    Notice that C is the final product with no A or B remaining as a residue.

  • An elimination reaction occurs when a reactant is broken up into two products. Elimination reactions occur with saturated compounds.

    The general equation for an elimination reaction: \(\text{A}\) \(\to\) \(\text{B}+\text{C}\)

  • A substitution reaction occurs when an exchange of elements in the reactants takes place. The initial reactants are transformed or swopped around to give a final product.

    The general equation for a substitution reaction: \(\text{AB} + \text{CD}\) \(\to\) \(\text{AD} + \text{BC}\)

Some specific examples of these reactions are given in the following pages.

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