What are the products of an acid catalyzed hydro-alkoxy addition?

1 Answer
Dec 28, 2014

The products of acid catalyzed hydro-alkoxy additions to alkenes are ethers.

A hydro-alkoxy addition is the acid-catalyzed addition of an alcohol to a C=C double bond.

A generalized equation for the reaction is

RO-H + R₂C=CR₂ → RO-CR₂-CR₂-H

An example is the addition of methanol to 2-methylpropene to form t-butyl methyl ether.

CH₃O-H + (CH₃)₂C=CH₂ → CH₃O-C(CH₃)₂-CH₂-H [or CH₃O-C(CH₃)₃]

Note that this is a Markovnikov addition, because the H adds to the C that has more H atoms attached.