Clemmensen Reaction

Clemmensen Reaction


the substitution of an oxygen atom in an aldehyde or ketone group by two hydrogen atoms during interaction with amalgamated zinc and hydrochloric acid:

The Clemmensen reaction is used in laboratory organic synthesis predominantly for the preparation of fatty-aromatic hydrocarbons by the reduction of corresponding ketones. For example, an 80–percent yield of ethylbenzene is obtained from acetophenone.

The reaction was developed by the American chemist E. C. Clemmensen in 1913–14.


Organicheskie reaktsii, collection 1. Moscow, 1948. Pages 194–266. (Translated from English).