Problem: Which of the following statements describes the first step in the mechanism of the aldol condensation? a An α hydrogen is abstracted by the base to form an enolate anion. b A nucleophilic base attacks the carbonyl carbon atom. c The carbonyl oxygen is protonated by the base ion. d The α hydrogen is abstracted by an acid to the enolate anion. e The carbonyl oxygen of one aldehyde attacks the carbonyl carbon of another.  

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Which of the following statements describes the first step in the mechanism of the aldol condensation?

a An α hydrogen is abstracted by the base to form an enolate anion.

b A nucleophilic base attacks the carbonyl carbon atom.

c The carbonyl oxygen is protonated by the base ion.

d The α hydrogen is abstracted by an acid to the enolate anion.

e The carbonyl oxygen of one aldehyde attacks the carbonyl carbon of another.