Wurtz Reaction

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Wurtz reaction

[′wərts rē‚ak·shən]
(organic chemistry)
Synthesis of hydrocarbons by treating alkyl iodides in ethereal solution with sodium according to the reaction 2CH3I + 2Na → CH3CH3+ 2NaI.

Wurtz Reaction


a method of synthesizing saturated hydrocarbons by the action of metallic sodium on alkyl halides (usually bromides or iodides):

2RBr - 2 Na → R—R + 2NaBr

The Wurtz reaction was discovered by C. A. Wurtz in 1855. R. Fittig extended the Wurtz reaction to alkylated aromatic hydrocarbons (the Wurtz-Fittig reaction):

C6H5Br + 2Na + BrC4H9

→ C6H5—C4H9 + 2NaBr