Hydration of alkene

 

This reaction is simply the addition of water molecule to the alkene to form the corresponding alcohol. It involves the addition of concentrated tetraoxosulphate (VI) acid first to the alkene to give alkyl hydrogen tetraoxosulphate (VI) which when treated with water (hydrolysis), gives an alcohol.

 

For example, the formation of ethanol:

 

CH2 = CH2 + H2SO4 CH3− CH2HOSO3 + H2 conc . Ethyl hydrogen tetraoxosulphate (vi)

 

CH3−CH2HOSO3 + H2O CH3CH2OH + H2SO4

Ethanol

 

Industrially, hydration of ethane is carried out in the vapor phase using tetraoxophosphate (V) acid supported on silicon (VI) oxide as a catalyst. The reaction is carried out at high temperature and under pressure.

 

H3PO4 on SiO2

CH2 = CH2(g) + H2O(g) CH3CH2OH(g)

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