Grignard Reaction Lab

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Organometallic compounds are metals, usually transitional metals, bonded to a carbon atom. A very popular organometallic compound is a Grignard reagent, which is MgBr, bonded to a carbon atom. Grignard reagents are used to for new carbon bonds between atoms. This is because organometallic compounds have a special polarization that allows the carbon atom to maintain a negative charge. This type of polarization makes the organometallic compound a nucleophile and it is very useful in attacking and forming new carbon bonds. The first step in this experiment was the preparation of a Grignard reagent. The formation of a Grignard reagent usually takes place in an anhydrous ethereal solution between magnesium metal and either an aryl or an alkyl halide. In these reactions, the electophillic carbon on the halide bonds with the magnesium and becomes a nucleophillic carbon. Anhydrous diethyl ether is used as the solution in this experiment for three reasons. First, it has a low boiling point so it is easy to remove from the final product. Second, it is inexpensive. Third, there is no water in this solution, which is extremely important when dealing with Grignard reagents.…show more content…
However, exposure to atmospheric oxygen to the metal shaving can produce a magnesium oxide coat around the shaving. This coat reduces the reactivity of the metal. To counteract this, 1-2 crystals of iodine were added to the reaction solution. The iodine crystals help to remove this oxidation coat and initiate that reaction by increasing the metal’s reactivity. It is important to realize the Grignard reagent production has a slow initiate stage. In order to avoid side products, the halide needs to be added drop-wise over a long period of time to allow this initiation phase to complete before more halide is added. The reaction is brought to a slow reflux to allow it to come to full

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