Undergraduate Student Exploration of Parameters Affecting Substitution, Elimination, and Solvolysis Reactions
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Honors Theses; 2015
The motivation for this work was the lack of a robust teaching laboratory experiment for a sophomore level organic chemistry course that engaged students in the complexities of substitution, elimination, and solvolysis chemistry. The purpose of this work was to lay a foundation for the creation of such an experiment. As such, this work had two main components: identifying a substrate capable of undergoing all four transformations and producing products which can be easily analyzed on a GC-MS, and designing a teaching lab activity that improves students’ understanding of the differences between the four reactions. This work identified (1,2-dibromoethyl)benzene as a suitable substrate due to its multiple reaction sites and its unique structure, which allowed for easy quantitation of most products encountered during this work. While the teaching lab activity did not result in a significant increase in students’ ability to correctly answer questions about the material, it did provide valuable insight into how to better structure the activity for future students.
Academic Major: Chemical Engineering
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