Organic reactions catalogue

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This is a vocabulary list. It gives all the reaction types that are specified in the Edexcel syllabus; it is not the entire organic chemistry content of this syllabus.

These reactions must be learnt; until you can write them all out from memory you do not know the organic chemistry.

Cognate reactions of homologues of the examples here are expected; if you know the reactions of propene, you know those of butene as well.

Knowledge of the conditions is expected; they are part of the reaction.

The examples chosen are the simplest that will work; this does not necessarily mean that they give good yields. Many of these reactions will have competing pathways, e.g. in elimination of HX from halogenoalkanes with an alcoholic solution of potassium hydroxide there is always some alcohol and ether formed too. These competing pathways are ignored.

Each entry is gives the reaction, the reagents, and the necessary conditions. Structural formulae should always be used in equations to avoid ambiguity.

Any or all of these pages may be downloaded for individual or institutional use provided that the URL appears on any copies made.

Alkanes & alkenes
Aldehydes and ketones

Carboxylic acids
Acyl chlorides
Nitro compounds


JRG Beavon 2002