Organic Chemistry : Help with Wolff-Krishner Reduction

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Organic Chemistry

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Example Questions

Example Question #13 : Functional Group Reactions

Acetaldehyde  undergoes a Wolf-Kishner reaction, which is the addition of hydrazine  with subsequent addition of a base and heat. In this reaction, the aldehyde is __________, resulting in a(n) __________ product.

Possible Answers:

oxidized . . . carboxylic acid

reduced . . . alcohol

reduced . . . alkane

oxidized . . . amide

Correct answer:

reduced . . . alkane


The correct answer is that the aldehyde is reduced to an alkane. In viewing the final product, we see that acetaldehyde would be reduced to ethane. The reaction of any aldehyde or ketone with hydrazine and the subsequent addition of base and heat will result in that aldehyde or ketone being reduced to an alkane, and is referred to as the Wolf-Kishner reaction. The Wolf-Kishner reagent is a commonly tested reducing agent.

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