Integrated SequencePhysics Chemistry Organic Biology

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Module 9 in the Syllabus

Acyl Compounds Mechanisms
Mechanisms and explanations from the Organic Mechanisms Pocketbook

Reactions of Carboxylic Acids and Derivatives Images
Image gallery for study with links to larger teaching JPEGs for classroom presentation

Question Drill for Reactions of Carboxylic Acids and Derivatives
Conceptual Vocabulary Self-Test

Basic Terms Crossword Puzzle

Basic Puzzle Solution

Conceptual Vocabulary
Carboxylic acidCarboxylic acids are organic acids characterized by the presence of a carboxyl group.
EsterEsters are a class of chemical compounds and functional groups which consist of an inorganic or organic acid in which at least one hydroxyl group has been replaced by an alkoxy group.
Nucleophilic acyl substitutionNucleophilic acyl substitution describes the substitution reaction involving nucleophiles and carboxylic acid derivatives including esters, amides and acid halides.
AmideAmides are a class of chemical compounds and functional groups in which a carbonyl group carbon is linked to a nitrogen atom.
Acyl halideAn acyl or acid halide is a chemical compound derived from an acid by replacing a hydroxyl group with a halide group.
HydrolysisHydrolysis is a chemical reaction or process in which a chemical compound is broken down by reaction with water.
Condensation reactionA condensation reaction is a chemical reaction in which two molecules or moieties combine to form one single molecule, together with the loss of a small molecule.
AcylAn acyl group is a functional group derived by the removal of one or more hydroxyl group from an oxoacid.
EsterificationEsterification is the general name for a chemical reaction in which two chemicals, such as an alcohol and an acid, form an ester as the reaction product.
Acid anhydrideAn acid anhydride is an organic compound which has two acyl groups bound to the same oxygen atom.
Fischer esterificationFischer esterification is the process of forming an ester by refluxing a carboxylic acid and an alcohol in the presence of an acid catalyst.
SaponificationSaponification is the hydrolysis of an ester under basic conditions to form an alcohol and the salt of a carboxylic acid.
AcetylationAcetylation or ethanoylation describes a reaction that introduces an acetyl functional group into an organic compound.
AminolysisAminolysis is any chemical reaction in which a molecule is split into two parts by reacting with a molecule of ammonia or an amine.
Hell-Volhard-Zelinsky halogenationThe Hell-Volhard-Zelinsky halogenation reaction halogenates carboxylic acids at the alpha carbon.
Hofmann RearrangementThe Hofmann rearrangement is the organic reaction of a primary amide to form a primary amine with one fewer carbon atom.
Malonic ester synthesisIn the malonic ester synthesis, diethyl malonate or a similar ester is alkylated at the carbon alpha to both carbonyl groups, and then converted to a substituted acetic acid.
Advanced terms that may appear in context in MCAT passages
Knoevenagel condensationThe Knoevenagel condensation reaction is a modification of the Aldol condensation in which nucleophilic addition occurs of an active hydrogen compound, which is a substance capable of adding hydrogens to an enolate anion, followed by an dehydration reaction.
Arndt-Eistert synthesisThe Arndt-Eistert synthesis is a series of chemical reactions designed to convert a carboxylic acid to a carboxylic acid homologue with one additional carbon atom.
Curtius rearrangementThe Curtius rearrangement is a chemical reaction that involves the rearrangement of an acyl azide to an isocyanate.
Schmidt reactionThe Schmidt reaction involves alkyl migration over the carbon to nitrogen chemical bond in an azide with expulsion of nitrogen.
Dakin-West reactionThe Dakin-West reaction is a chemical reaction that transforms an amino-acid into an amino-ketone using a acid anhydride and a base, typically pyridine.
Fries rearrangementThe Fries rearrangement is a rearrangement reaction of a phenyl ester to a hydroxy aryl ketone by catalysis of lewis acids.
Reformatskii reactionThe Reformatskii reaction is an organic reaction which condenses aldehydes or ketones with alpha-halo esters in the presence of metallic zinc to form beta-hydroxy-esters.

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