Chemguide: Support for CIE A level Chemistry

Learning outcome 15: Halogen compounds

15.1: Halogenoalkanes

Statement 15.1.7

This statement is about using the reaction between halogenoalkanes and silver nitrate solution as a guide to the reactivity of the compounds.

Before you go on, you should find and read the statement in your copy of the syllabus.

First read "the importance of bond strengths", about 3/4 of the way down the page introducing halogenoalkanes;

And then read the second half of the page reactions involving silver nitrate headed "Comparing halogenoalkane reactivities".

You will certainly need to know about the effect of changing the halogen in the compound because that is specifically asked by the syllabus. You also need to be able to relate that reactivity to the strength of the carbon-halogen bond.

It isn't clear from the syllabus whether you should also know about the different reactivities of primary, secondary and tertiary halogenoalkanes.

To be on the safe side, I think you ought to know that tertiary ones react faster than secondary ones which react a lot faster than primary ones.

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© Jim Clark 2020