Problem: Why would the concentrated hydrobromic acid be an inappropriate catalyst for the dehydration of alcohols? a) HBr is too weakly acidic to protonate the alcohol. b) The conjugate base, Br - , is a good nucleophile and it would attack the carbocation to form an alkyl bromide.  c) HBr is strongly acidic, so the water molecule would not be a good leaving group after protonation of the alcohol. d) HBr would be more likely to promote rearrangement of the carbocation intermediate. 

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Why would the concentrated hydrobromic acid be an inappropriate catalyst for the dehydration of alcohols?

a) HBr is too weakly acidic to protonate the alcohol.

b) The conjugate base, Br - , is a good nucleophile and it would attack the carbocation to form an alkyl bromide. 

c) HBr is strongly acidic, so the water molecule would not be a good leaving group after protonation of the alcohol.

d) HBr would be more likely to promote rearrangement of the carbocation intermediate. 

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Anglin's class at ARIZONA.