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Electrophilic Substitution

Definition: What is Electrophilic Substitution?

Electrophilic substitution is a chemical reaction in which a functional group from a compound is substituted with an electrophilic species. There are two main types of electrophilic substitution reactions – electrophilic aromatic substitution and electrophilic aliphatic substitution. In the former, a functional group is added to an aromatic compound like benzene, resulting in a wide variety of substituted aromatic compounds [1,2].

Electrophilic Substitution

Examples of Electrophilic Substitution

An example of an electrophilic aromatic substitution is the bromination of benzene resulting in bromobenzene [3]. An example of an electrophilic aliphatic compound is the chlorination of acetone [4].

Electrophilic Cubstitution Examples

Mechanism of Electrophilic Substitution

The mechanism of electrophilic aromatic substitution is a two-step process – the addition of the electrophile, followed by deprotonation [3].


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