Epoxidation of Halohydrins

Basic conditions activate a halohydrin to complete an intramolecular process to form an epoxide. The oxygen of the hydroxyl substituent displaces the halide through nucleophilic attack. This mechanism is essentially an intramolecular Williamson ether synthesis. The product formed is a triangular epoxide molecule. Epoxides are useful substances because of their own high reactivity toward nucleophiles in epoxide ring opening reactions.