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    What is the mechanism for the reaction of methanal with a suitable nucleophile and what nucleophile do I use
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    A good one would probable be potassium hydroxide with the OH ion attacking the slightly charged carbon atom, this mechanism is called nucleophilic substitution I believe.
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    The usual mechanism we consider for aldehydes is nucleophilic addition using the CN- ion.
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    Or you could use the hydride ion, H-, from NaBH4 et.al.
 
 
 
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