Alkene Reactions, Part 2

Return to Organic Chemistry 1 Syllabus

Guess what? Reactions are back! This time, we’re using entirely different mechanisms to get the job done. Introducing: the radical. A radical occurs when a bond breaks and instead of one atom taking both electrons, each atom involved in the bond gets one. These radicals are often unstable, but can be used to make all new reactions take place.

As stated in the last reactions section, you’re just going to need to memorize these, both what the reactions do and how they do it.

Important reactions involving radicals

There are a couple of reactions that involve radicals that you’ll need to know. These often involve halogens such as bromine or chlorine. Another topic introduced is radical chlorination. This topic involves adding chlorine atoms to alkanes in certain ratios. Depending on your school, these questions on exams can be free points if you understand how to find these ratios using equivalent carbons.

6 Curated Resources

Here’s Mastering Organic Chemistry’s article about free radical addition. As always, it’s pretty handy and talks about everything you’ll likely need to know.

Free Radical Additions

free, Book Chapter

This is a pretty in depth look at reactions involving radicals, plus it discusses the radical itself and what it does to the molecule in terms of geometry, stability, etc.

Radical Chain Addition

free, Article

This article talks specifically about radical chain addition, which is one very important type of radical addition. Knowing the mechanism for this will more than likely prove pretty important on exams.

Allylic Bromination

free, Article

Allylic Bromination is a pretty important radical reaction. This article is a good place to learn the mechanism of how the reaction proceeds and what the products look like.

This is a good Leah4Sci video. It doesn’t really talk about reactions but it does discuss radicals  themselves and resonance involving radicals, which will be important as well.

Free Radical Practice Problems

free, Practice Problems

This is a fantastic resource since it serves a couple purposes. It’s got a bunch of practice problems but it also sets goals for what you should know how to do by the end of the practice. You should definitely go through these and make sure you know everything listed.