When alkene is present in an aqueous solution that contains a non-nucleophilic acid which is strong, the reaction leads to immediate response. This response pounces on one of the hydrogen atoms that are acidic in nature. The heterocyclic cleavage takes place by the oxygen atom and the hydrogen atom. This cleavage takes place where the oxygen is present. A carbocation is formed on the original alkene itself. One of the lone pairs of the oxygen attack the carbocation formed in the previous step. Consequently, removal of a proton generates an alcohol. After the entire process, the reaction will be finally complete. The non-nucleophilic strong acid is formed as a catalyst.
These reactions are called indirect processes. In case of direct process, there is protonation of acid along with the alkene. Alcohol production is done when water acts with the carbocation present. The direct process is considered to be the simplest process and hence is more preferable. Several other solid acids such as phosphoric acid are included as acid catalysts.
Acid-Catalyzed Hydration with reaction and mechanism
The replacement of the pi bond on a given alkene with the help of a water molecule is called acid-catalyzed hydration of alkenes. This reaction may undergo carbocation rearrangement and it follows Markovnikovâ€™s rule. The reaction starts with the addition of alcohol to a carbon atom that is highly substituted, and hydrogen to the less substituted carbon atom.
The pi bond is broken when there is an attack on a proton from the solution. This attack is caused by a nucleophilic pi bond. There is the formation of a carbocation on the carbon atom that has the most substitution. The carbon that is the least substituted has more hydrogen atoms. Then, a molecule of water makes use of the oxygenâ€™s electrons and attacks the oxonium which is formed by the carbocation. The extra proton is then removed with the aid of another water molecule. This results in the formation of a hydroxyl group that is attached to the carbon atom that has the most substitution.
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