Aldol addition and condensation
Cox, Charles T. Department of Chemistry, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
Last reviewed:May 2021
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A useful carbon-carbon bond-forming reaction in which aldehyde and alcohol functional groups are observed during the reaction. The aldol reaction was first reported by Aleksandr Porfiryevich Borodin, who observed the reaction using pentanal and heptanal. The term aldol is derived from aldehyde and alcohol, given that both functional groups are observed in molecules formed during the reaction of pentanal and heptanal. Since it was first reported, the aldol reaction has been widely utilized in organic syntheses because of its utility in the formation of carbon-carbon bonds. A simple aldol reaction is shown in reaction (1). Under the reaction conditions, specifically heat, the β-hydroxyaldehyde undergoes elimination to produce the α,β-unsaturated aldehyde and water. See also: Alcohol; Aldehyde; Organic synthesis
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