Arrhenius Equation:

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Postby JamieVu_2C » Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:51 pm

The hydrolysis of an organic nitrile, a compound containing a –CN group, in basic solution, is proposed to proceed by the following mechanism. Write a complete balanced equation for the overall reaction, list any intermediates, and identify the catalyst in this reaction.

Step 1: RCN + OH- --> RCNOH

Step 2: RCNOH + H2O --> RC(NH)OH + OH-

Step 3: RC(NH)OH --> RCONH2

How do you know that OH- is not an intermediate but is a catalyst? How can you tell the difference?

Jonathan Gong 2H
Posts: 105
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:16 am

Re: 7E.5

Postby Jonathan Gong 2H » Sun Mar 08, 2020 6:37 pm

You can tell that OH- is a catalyst in this reaction because it is consumed in step 1 as a reactant but formed again as a product in step 2, thus making it present throughout the reaction. The difference between a catalyst and an intermediate is that an intermediate is usually created by a step but consumed by a later step.

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