Problem: Alkenes can be converted to alcohols by reaction with mercuric acetate to form a β-hydroxyalkylmercury(II) acetate compound, a reaction called oxymercuration. Subsequent reduction with NaBH4 reduces the C-Hg bond to a C-H bond, forming the alkyl alcohol, a reaction called demercuration. Draw the structures of the Hg-containing compound(s) and the final alcohol product(s) formed in the following reaction sequence, omitting byproducts. If applicable, draw hydrogen at a chirality center and indicate stereochemistry via wedge-and-dash bonds.

FREE Expert Solution

  • follows Markovnikov's Regioselectivity:
    • OH group → most substituted carbon 
    • H → least substituted carbon.


  • to simplify: OAc → shorthand for OOCCH3  

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Problem Details

Alkenes can be converted to alcohols by reaction with mercuric acetate to form a β-hydroxyalkylmercury(II) acetate compound, a reaction called oxymercuration. Subsequent reduction with NaBH4 reduces the C-Hg bond to a C-H bond, forming the alkyl alcohol, a reaction called demercuration. Draw the structures of the Hg-containing compound(s) and the final alcohol product(s) formed in the following reaction sequence, omitting byproducts. If applicable, draw hydrogen at a chirality center and indicate stereochemistry via wedge-and-dash bonds.

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