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ERIC Number: EJ1148317
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jul
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Molecular Modeling of an Electrophilic Addition Reaction with "Unexpected" Regiochemistry
Best, Katherine T.; Li, Diana; Helms, Eric D.
Journal of Chemical Education, v94 n7 p936-940 Jul 2017
The electrophilic addition of a hydrohalic acid (HX) to an alkene is often one of the first reactions learned in second-year undergraduate organic chemistry classes. During the ensuing discussion of the mechanism, it is shown that this reaction follows Markovnikov's rule, which states that the hydrogen atom will attach to the carbon with fewer substituents while the halogen atom will attach to the carbon with more substituents. However, in the preparation of tropic acid, the reaction of HCl with atropic acid (2- phenylpropenoic acid) does not follow this rule because it is a conjugated system. Molecular modeling of the possible carbocation intermediates suggests that the reaction follows a conjugate addition mechanism involving a 1,4-addition of HCl across the conjugated alkene and carboxyl group rather than addition across the alkene as students often first propose. PM3 semiempirical calculations are used to determine the energies of three possible carbocation intermediates. The energies obtained from the modeling suggest that the carbocation intermediate produced by the 1,4-addition is the most stable.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A