2021 P1 Q17 - Electrophilic Substitution of Methylbenzene
Let's take a look at 2021 A Levels H2 Chemistry Paper 1 Question 17.
We are required to determine the main reaction involving methylbenzene with bromine chloride.
First let us identify the functional groups present in methylbenzene and their reactions.
alkane - free radical substitution
benzene - electrophilic substitution
The conditions of the reaction were also given.
Due to the absence of sunlight, there will be no free radical substitution of alkane since UV light is needed for the initiation step.
Due to the presence of an iron-containing catalyst, there will be electrophilic substitution of benzene.
Hence we can eliminate options A and B where there is substitution into the methyl side chain.
Next we need to decide which halogen will be substituted into the benzene ring by determining the electrophile.
Bromine is less electronegative than chlorine, hence bromine will be partial positively charged in BrCl.
This makes bromine the electrophile since electrophiles are electron deficient.
Therefore only bromine can be substituted into benzene and option C has to be the answer.
Topic: Arenes, Organic Chemistry, A Level Chemistry, Singapore
Back to list of questions for 2021 A Level H2 Chemistry Paper 1.
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