Racemization in Organic Chemistry: Definition, Mechanism & Example


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When an organic compound undergoes an SN1 substitution reaction, what kind of product distribution is observed in terms of stereochemistry?

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1. In order for the compounds below to undergo racemization, what type of intermediate must they both be going through before converting to each enantiomer?

2. Consider the following carbocation intermediate. If a water molecule were to react with the intermediate, which face would you predict the water molecule would approach from?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Use of this five-question quiz and worksheet will help ascertain how much you know about racemization. The quiz requires you to be familiar with product distribution, the classification of compounds, and other aspects of this topic.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

This quiz will assess what you know about the following:

  • Product distribution when an organic compound undergoes an SN1 substitution reaction
  • What's required for compounds to undergo racemization
  • The face from which a water molecule would approach based on the carbocation intermediate
  • Classifying an intermediate
  • Classifying two compounds that are non-superimposable mirror images

Skills Practiced

  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about an organic compound undergoing an SN1 substitution reaction
  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained about classifying an intermediate
  • Interpreting information - verify that you can read information about compounds undergoing racemization and interpret it correctly

Additional Learning

You can learn even more about this topic by studying the lesson titled Racemization in Organic Chemistry: Definition, Mechanism & Example. Here's a quick look at topics covered:

  • A reaction mechanism that produces a racemic mixture
  • The mechanism of an alkyl halide
  • Examples of racemization