Return to Contents  Chapter 17: Aldehydes and Ketones. Nucleophilic Addition to C=O  Ch 17 contents

Cyanohydrin Formation

cyanohydrin formation
Reaction type:  Nucleophilic Addition
Summary
NUCLEOPHILIC ADDITION OF CYANIDE TO AN ALDEHYDE
Step 1:
The nucleophilic C in the cyanide adds to the electrophilic C in the polar carbonyl group, electrons from the C=O move to the electronegative O creating an intermediate alkoxide
addition of HCN to an aldehyde
Step 2:
An acid/base reaction. Protonation of the alkoxide oxygen creates the cyanohydrin product.

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© Dr. Ian Hunt, Department of Chemistry, University of Calgary