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The Grignard reaction is an organometallic chemical reaction in which alkyl, vinyl, or aryl-magnesium halides, known as Grignard reagents add to a carbonyl group in an aldehyde or ketone. This reaction is an important tool for the formation of carbon–carbon bonds.
Note that the reaction of an organic halide with magnesium is not a Grignard reaction, but provides a Grignard reagent.
- R-MgX + R2C=O → RR2-C-O-MgX
- RR2-C-O-MgX + H2O → RR2-C-OH + Mg(OH)X
Grignard reagents are highly water-sensitive. All reagents and apparatus must be thoroughly dried before use. Use of closed systems is preferred to minimise ingress of atmospheric moisture.
The Grignard reaction is useful for obtaining tertiaty alcohols.
Handling and safety
The Grignard reaction involves air and water-sensitive compounds, and sometimes vacuum. Proper protection must be worn at all times.