Alkene Reactions, Part 1

Return to Organic Chemistry 1 Syllabus

Learning about reactions, or how to get from one molecule to another, is going to be absolutely essential for the rest of your organic chemistry career. We’re going to start out by just learning a couple of the basic ones that affect alkenes. However, this list will eventually expand to include a ton of reactions that you can use to get from almost any simple molecule to another.

For the most part, learning these reactions is straight memorization—you just need to put the time in and learn them all. However, make sure you know how to use them, especially when we get to synthesis, or the creation of molecules from essentially scratch.

Important Alkene Reactions

There are a couple topics involving alkene reactions that are pretty important. The first involves reaction mechanisms. Sometimes, it is not enough to simply know that A+B gives C. Occasionally you will need to know exactly how this reaction occurs, and that’s where reaction mechanisms come into play. These are detailed diagrams using arrows that show the movement of electrons during reactions in order to explain how a reaction occurs.

The first couple of reactions you’ll need to learn are Halogenation, Oxymercuration, Oxidation/Reduction reactions, and Ozonolysis. (Please note: Once again, this is based on the Rutgers curriculum. Some schools may require different mechanisms.) Make sure to not only know what they do, but how they do it. These will be used for the rest of the course, so make sure you are comfortable with each.

7 Curated Resources

Alkene Reaction Cheat Sheet

free, Article and Video

This organizer can be a huuuugggeee help when it comes to memorizing the alkene reactions. Keep in mind that your course may use additional reactions, or different components in the reactions, but an organizer like this can be extremely handy. Plus, there’s a video to go along with the cheat sheet.

Alkene Reactivity

free, Article

This is a good summary of some important alkene reactions and it introduces important topics like regioselectivity and the Markovnikov rule.

Mastering Organic Chem has a bunch of resources you should definitely check out for alkene reactions. This one deal with reaction pathways of some important reactions and has links to other articles that should be helpful.

Leah4Sci Alkene Reactions

free, Video Series

This is another series by Leah4Sci, here she discusses a bunch of really important reactions to know.

Reaction Mechanisms are going to be really important, Khan Academy does an entire series teaching how to go about learning various reaction mechanisms.

Here’s a good video that acts as a review of a ton of important reactions you should know. You might also want to check out other videos on his channel, there are a ton of organic chem tutorials and lessons.

Reactions of Alkenes

free, Chapter

These are notes from the course taught at Rutgers specifically from the chapter dealing with alkene reactions.