Problem: Draw the major organic product of the reaction shown below. 

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We’re being asked to draw the major product of the given reaction.



Recall that alcohols are converted to alkenes via acid-catalyzed dehydration. The mechanism depends on the type of alcohol involved:

For 1˚ alcohols:

(1) protonation – the –OH group is protonated by the acid catalyst to give H2O, a better leaving group

(2) E2 β-elimination – the conjugate base removes a β-hydrogen via E2, reforming the acid catalyst in the process


For 2˚ and 3˚ alcohols:

(1) protonation – the –OH group is protonated to give a better leaving group, H2O

(2) carbocation formation – the carbon-H2O bond is broken

(3) E1 β-elimination – the conjugate base removes a β-hydrogen via E1, reforming the acid catalyst in the process


Since a carbocation is formed in this mechanism, the carbocation may rearrange into a more stable one.

Also, 1˚ alcohols that can rearrange into 3˚ follow this mechanism.


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Problem Details

Draw the major organic product of the reaction shown below. 

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Dehydration Reaction concept. You can view video lessons to learn Dehydration Reaction. Or if you need more Dehydration Reaction practice, you can also practice Dehydration Reaction practice problems.

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Fields' class at USF.