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Organic Chem Solvent Questions

Discussion in 'MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test' started by lurker884, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. lurker884

    lurker884 Membership Revoked
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    Hey guys. I'm having real trouble with the organic questions that are like: "Which of the following solvents would be best to do this reaction in?"

    Is there a trick to getting these questions right? :(

    plz help :(
     
  2. ADeadLois

    ADeadLois Senior Member
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    You have to consider the nature of the reaciton (SN1, SN2, E1, E2) and the structure of the reactant. I don't remember the specific rules, but know the answer lies in what solvent is appropriate for the particular reaction.

    But when in doubt, go with the ether.
     
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  3. Schaden Freud

    Schaden Freud MiSanthrope II
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    The biggest difference in solvents that will have an effect on reactions is whether the solvent is protic or aprotic. SN2 reactions prefer aprotic solvents, for instance, while SN1's prefer protic. Usually, a multiple choice question will have one of one type of solvent and four of the other type.
    Common protic solvents are alcohols, ammonia, various acids....
    Common aprotic solvents are acetone, dimethyl sulfoxide, dimethylformamide...
     
  4. UMP

    UMP Recovered Under-Achiever
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    All Praise and Glory to EK MCAT dogma. :D
     
  5. ADeadLois

    ADeadLois Senior Member
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    Even though in a real organic lab, that isn't really the case.
     
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  6. EBI831

    EBI831 legend in the making
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    also remember like dissolves like. if its a nonpolar solute look for nonpolar solvent(lots of hydrocarbons).and if it's polar look for polar solvent(OH groups and charged molecules).
     
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  7. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    I wrote a post in the subforum about the four substitution and elimination mechanisms that you may find helpful, particularly the part about solvent. It's in the organic chem explanations thread. Also, there is a post in the gen chem explanations thread about polar protic versus polar aprotic and how to determine which is which.
     
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