the substitution of hydrogen by a nitro group in aliphatic or alicyclic compounds, as well as in the side chain of fatty-aromatic compounds during direct nitration with nitric acid:
R − H + HNO3 → RNO3 + H2O
Specifically, the Konovalov reaction is the nitration with dilute nitric acid (12–20 percent) in the liquid phase at 100°-150°C and elevated or standard pressure. The substitution of hydrogen by a nitro group occurs very easily in the tertiary carbon atom but with considerable difficulty in the primary carbon atom. Fatty-aromatic compounds undergo nitration in the a-position of the side chain.
The Konovalov reaction is used in industry for the preparation of nitro compounds, during which the process is carried out in the vapor phase (> 400°C). M. I. Konovalov discovered the reaction in 1888.
REFERENCESReaktsii i metody issledovaniia organicheskikh soedinenii, book 7. Moscow, 1958. Pages 133–222.
Khimiia uglevodorodov nefti, vol. 3. Moscow, 1959. (Translated from English.)