Also found in: Dictionary, Medical.
Grignard reagent(grēnyärd` rēā`jənt), any of an important class of extremely reactive chemical compounds used in the synthesis of hydrocarbons, alcohols, carboxylic acids, and other compounds. Chemically, a Grignard reagent is an organic magnesium halide dissolved in a nonreactive solvent (typically dry ethyl ether). The substance is made up of an organic group, e.g., an alkyl or aryl group, joined by a highly polar covalent bond (see chemical bondchemical bond,
mechanism whereby atoms combine to form molecules. There is a chemical bond between two atoms or groups of atoms when the forces acting between them are strong enough to lead to the formation of an aggregate with sufficient stability to be regarded as an
..... Click the link for more information. ) to magnesium, while the magnesium is joined by an ionic bond to a halogen ion, e.g., bromide or iodide. A Grignard reagent will react with water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, or almost any electrophilic organic compound. The reaction of Grignard reagents with aldehydes to form alcohols is of particular importance in the laboratory. Because Grignard reagents are so unstable, they are generally prepared just before use by reacting an organic halide, e.g., methyl iodide, with magnesium metal in a completely dry solvent; air is usually excluded from the reaction vessel, e.g., by flushing it with nitrogen. Grignard reagents are named after Victor GrignardGrignard, Victor
, 1871–1935, French chemist. He shared the 1912 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Paul Sabatier for his work in organic synthesis based on his discovery (1900) of the Grignard reagent. He taught at the Univ. of Nancy (1909–19) and at the Univ. of Lyons (from 1919).
..... Click the link for more information. , a French chemist, who received a Nobel Prize (1912) for their discovery.
Grignard reagent[grin′yär rē‚ā·jənt]
RMgX The organometallic halide formed in the Grignard reaction; an example is C2H5MgCl; it is useful in organic synthesis.