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What is the principal organic product formed in the reaction of ethylene oxide with sodium...

Question:

What is the principal organic product formed in the reaction of ethylene oxide with sodium cyanide (NaCN) in aqueous ethanol?

Epoxide ring opening:

Nucleophiles in protic solvents(e.g. water, ethanol, methanol, etc) attack at less hindered electrophilic carbon center of epoxide and opens up the epoxide ring. In the second step, protonation occurs and alcohol is formed.

Answer and Explanation:

The details stepwise mechanism of this reaction is shown below.

step-1

NaCN is an ionic compound and hence it produces two ions in the solution Na+...

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