First, an acid-base reaction. Hydroxide functions as a base and removes the acidic α-hydrogen giving the reactive enolate.
The nucleophilic enolate attacks the conjugated ketone at the electrophilic alkene C in a nucleophilic addition type process with the electrons being pushed through to the electronegative O, giving an intermediate enolate.
An acid-base reaction. The enolate deprotonates a water molecule recreating hydroxide and the more favourable carbonyl group.
|© Dr. Ian Hunt, Department of Chemistry|