Return to Contents Chapter 6: Reactions of Alkenes : Addition Reactions Ch 6 contents  


Alkenes contain the unsaturated C=C functional group which characteristically undergo addition reactions.
This is driven by the conversion of the weaker π bond into 2 new, stronger σ bonds.
The reactions of alkenes can seem a little bewildering as a wide variety of reagents undergo this type of reaction providing access to products with various regioselectivities and stereoselectivities depending on the reagent and / or reaction conditions, but ultimately on the mechanism by which the reaction occurs.

There are potentially 3 factors associated with each of the addition reactions of alkenes:

Study Tip:
For each reagent, identify the electrophilic atom as it will be involved in the first step of adding to the π bond and it will add to the less highly substituted position so controlling the regioselectivity of the reaction.

selectivity of alkene additions

Alkenes Electrophilic Addition Reactions
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organic chemistry © Dr. Ian Hunt, Department of Chemistry University of Calgary