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Finally, in selected cases, magnesium will react with acidic hydrocarbons such as cyclopentadienyl at high temperatures (600 °C).


In the vapor phase dialkyl magnesium compounds are generally monomeric linear compounds. In solution, in the absence of coordinating solvents R 2 Mg form a variety of oligomers ( [link] a-c) in solution as determined by molecular weight measurements. In the presence of coordinating solvents 4-coordinate monomers predominate ( [link] d).

Solution structure of R 2 Mg (R = Me, Et) in (a – c) non-coordinating solvents, and (d) diethyl ether.

As similar trend is observed in the solid state, where polymers have been characterized in the absence of coordinating solvents ( [link] a), while monomers or dimmers are generally observed when crystallized from a coordinating solvent ( [link] b and c).

Solid state structure of R 2 Mg (R = Me, Et) crystallized in (a) the absence and (b and c) the presence of a coordinating solvents.

The use of organomagnesium compounds in organic synthesis

Grignard compounds react with water to give the hydrocarbon, [link] , they also react with other hydroxylic compounds such as alcohols and carboxylic acids. One important use of the hydrolysis reaction is specifically deuteration, [link] .

The hydrogen atom on a terminal alkyne is sufficiently acidic that the reaction with Grignards occurs in an analogous manner to that of hydrolysis.

Once formed the alkynyl Grignard undergoes the same hydrolysis reaction.

Reaction with co 2

Grignards react readily with carbon dioxide to form the carboxylate, which yields the associated carboxylic acid upon hydrolysis, [link] .

Reaction with carbonyls

Organomagnesium compounds react with organic carbonyls (aldehydes, ketones, and esters) to yield the alcohol on hydrolysis, [link] . This synthetic route is useful for the formation of primary, secondary and terminal alcohols.

Unfortunately, for some carbonyls there is a competing side reaction of enolization, where the starting ketone is reformed upon hydrolysis.

When the Grignard reagent has a β-hydrogen another side reaction occurs in which the carbonyl group is reduced and an alkene is formed.

Both the enolization and reduction occur via similar 6-membered cyclic transition states ( [link] ).

Representation of the 6-membered transition state reaction for enolization of a ketone.

Grignards react with α,β-unsaturated ketones to give either the 1,2-addition product or the 1,4-addition product, or both.

Reaction with acyl halides

Acyl halides react with Grignards to give ketones, [link] . Best results are obtained if the reaction is carried out at low temperature and in the presence of a Lewis acid catalysts (e.g., FeCl 3 ).

Reaction with epoxides

Oxirane (epoxide) rings are opened by Grignards, [link] , in a useful reaction that extends the carbon chain of the Grignard by two carbon atoms. This reaction is best performed with ethylene oxide since the magnesium halide formed is a Lewis acid catalyst for further reactions in the case of substituted oxiranes.

Reaction with salts

One of the most useful methods of preparing organometallic compounds is the exchange reaction of one organometallic compound with a salt of a different metal, [link] . This is an equilibrium process, whose equilibrium constant is defined by the reduction potential of both metals. In general the reaction will proceed so that the more electropositive metal will form the more ionic salt (usually chloride).

Grignard reagents are particularly useful in this regard, and may be used to prepare a wide range of organometallic compounds. For example:

The reaction with a Grignard is milder than the analogous reaction with lithium reagents, and leads to a lower incident of side-products.


  • H. Bader and N. M. Smyth, J. Org. Chem . , 1964, 29 , 953.
  • C. L. Hill, J. B. Vander Sande, G. M. Whitesides, J. Org. Chem. , 1980, 45 , 1020.
  • E. Weiss, J. Organomet. Chem. , 1964, 2 , 314.
  • A. R. Barron, J. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans. , 1989, 1625.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
waht is hydrating power of lithium carbonates
Mahar Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry of the main group elements. OpenStax CNX. Aug 20, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11124/1.25
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