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Question 13

Identify the reagents shown in bold in the following equations as nucleophiles or electrophiles:

(a) CH3COOH  +  HO →   CH3COO- + H2O

(b) CH3COCH3  +  C-N  →  (CH3)2 C (CN) (OH)

(c) C6H +  CH3C+O  →  C6H5COCH3

Answer

Electrophiles are electron-deficient species and can receive an electron pair. On the other hand, nucleophiles are electron-rich species and can donate their electrons.



(a) CH3COOH  +  HO →   CH3COO- + H2O

Here, HO- acts as a nucleophile as it is an electron-rich species, i.e., it is a nucleus-seeking species.

(b) CH3COCH3  +  C-N  →  (CH3)2 C (CN) (OH)

Here, C-N acts as a nucleophile as it is an electron-rich species, i.e., it is a nucleus-seeking species.

(c) C6H +  CH3C+O  →  C6H5COCH3

Here, CH3C+O acts as an electrophile as it is an electron-deficient species.

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