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Wurtz reaction[′wərts rē‚ak·shən]
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