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When Primary Haloalkanes react with :OH- and :CN- nucleophiles is it always SN1? Watch

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    I am currently revising Organic Chemistry, not for an AS exam, but at the same level as AS student would study.

    One of the criteria is: Describe the mechanism of the reaction of primary haloalkanes with the nucleophiles :OH- and :CN-.

    I understand about the bond polarity with the C-X bond, and therefore the nucleophiles attack the polarised bond and substitute the halogen atom which gives rise to a halogen ion, and also a nitrile (in the case of :CN-)

    But I am confused as to what an SN1 and SN2 reaction is, and if you can have different ones for Primary Alkanes, and is it the same for an :OH- as it is with a :CN-
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    (Original post by Sam00)
    I am currently revising Organic Chemistry, not for an AS exam, but at the same level as AS student would study.

    One of the criteria is: Describe the mechanism of the reaction of primary haloalkanes with the nucleophiles :OH- and :CN-.

    I understand about the bond polarity with the C-X bond, and therefore the nucleophiles attack the polarised bond and substitute the halogen atom which gives rise to a halogen ion, and also a nitrile (in the case of :CN-)

    But I am confused as to what an SN1 and SN2 reaction is, and if you can have different ones for Primary Alkanes, and is it the same for an :OH- as it is with a :CN-
    Primary haloalkanes it is always SN2
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    (Original post by charco)
    Primary haloalkanes it is always SN2
    Thanks, that's what I meant, I tried to edit but it wouldn't let me.

    Is the mechanism whereby a :NU substitutes a halogen the same for both OH- and CH- nucleophiles?

    Many thanks!
 
 
 
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