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Introduction To Organic Chemistry


Hydration of Alkenes

Hydration of alkenes yield the production of alcohol. This type of addition reaction occurs in the presence of concentrated sulphuric acid (H2SO4(aq)), steam (H2O(g)) and a temperature of 300 0C and 65atm. Steam can also be added in the presence of phosphuric acid-silica catalyst to yield the corresponding alkanol.

The reaction is reversible. To be more specific, the hydroxy-OH-group of the steam molecule adds itself to the unsaturated double bond (functional group) of the alkene.

The following reactions below gives an example of ethene and propene being hydrated by steam in the presence of concentrated (H2SO4(aq)) and at 1700C.

Figure 1.

Ethene + Water Ethanol

Figure 2.

Propene + Water Propanol