Organic Chemistry-Mechanisms

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Free Radical Substitution

There are three main steps for this mechanism; The initiation, propagation and termination steps. For this example, I will use chlorine and methane to keep it simple.

       1) Initiation

 Cl2 -------> 2Cl•  This step requires UV light to break down the chlorine.

       2) Propagation

Cl• + CH4 -------> •CH3 + HCl 

•CH3 + Cl2 -------> CH3Cl + Cl 

       3) Termination 

Cl + Cl• -------> Cl2

Cl + CH3•-------> CH3Cl

CH3 +CH3• -------> C2H6

Electrophilic addition

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