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 Chapter 18: Enols and Enolates
Ch 18 contents
Acidity of α-Hydrogens

Before we can talk about the acidity of α-hydrogens, we really need to know what we mean by an "α-hydrogen".

Greek letters are used to describe the positions adjacent to a functional group.

The α-H are those H atoms in the groups immediately adjacent to the carbonyl group. The further positions are termed β, γ etc.

an example of an alpha hydrogen

Make sure you can identify how many α-hydrogens there are in the following examples of common aldehydes and ketones....


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