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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 Substitution Examples

Mechanism of Electrophilic Substitution

Electrophilic Aromatic Substitution Mechanism

Let us look at the above image which shows the electrophilic aromatic substitution mechanism. It is a two-step process – the addition of the electrophile, followed by deprotonation [3].


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2 responses to “Electrophilic Substitution”


    Am in Uganda. I study chemistry and biology. I have learned a lot from your website. Many thanks!

  2. NunguEconi Hillary says:


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