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Question 19

Why does benzene undergo electrophilic substitution reactions easily and nucleophilic substitutions with difficulty?

Answer

Benzene is a planar molecule having delocalized electrons above and below the plane of ring. Hence, it is electron-rich. As a result, it is highly attractive to electron deficient species i.e., electrophiles.

Therefore, it undergoes electrophilic substitution reactions very easily. Nucleophiles are electron-rich. Hence, they are repelled by benzene. Hence, benzene undergoes nucleophilic substitutions with difficulty.

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