Question #480c6

1 Answer
Jan 28, 2015

The reaction you describe matches the profile of an electrophilic aromatic substitution. If I'd have to guess what compound #"A"# is, I'd say benzene, which will classify the reaction as the nitration of benzene

The nitration of benzene refers to the introduction of a nitro group into benzene by way of a nitrating mixture. Here is where the nitric acid and the sulfuric acid, which acts as a catalyst, come into play.

The first step in the nitration of benzene is the creation of the nitronium ion, #"NO"_2^(+)#, which is obtained by the removal of one electron from the nitrogen dioxide molecule, or #"NO"_2#.

Since it is the stronger acid, sulfuric acid will protonate nitric acid on the #"OH"# group and allow for the loss of a water molecule and the formation of the nitronium ion.

The electron-rich benzene ring will attack the strong electrophile nitronium ion to eventually form nitrobenzene and sulfuric acid