Beyond Benign


Case Study: Alcohol Dehydration

The dehydration reaction of alcohols to generate alkenes are commonly performed reactions in the Organic Chemistry laboratory. The reaction generally proceeds by heating the alcohols in the presence of a strong acid, such as sulfuric or phosphoric acid, at high temperatures. Both acids can cause serious burns to the skin and eyes. A greener alcohol dehydration reaction is outlined in this case study, which uses a reusable catalyst and avoids the use of concentrated acids.

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