the conversion of alcohols into olefins by the thermal dissociation of methyl xanthates obtained from these alcohols; for example,
The methyl xanthates of tertiary alcohols decompose most readily, already at the time of formation. The methyl xanthates of secondary alcohols decompose less readily (upon heating), while the methyl xanthates of primary alcohols decompose very poorly. The reaction in the Chugaev method is usually not accompanied by secondary reactions, such as isomerization of the carbon skeleton and shifting of double bonds, which are typical of many other methods of producing olefins by the dehydration of alcohols, and hence its importance in the study of structurally complex alcohols.
The Chugaev method has made it possible to successfully determine the formation of many labile structures, such as terpenes. It was discovered by L. A. Chugaev in 1899.