What is the difference between substitution and eliminations?

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Feb 7, 2018

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Substitution reactions "switch out" functional groups. Where as an elimination reaction removes a functional group.

Explanation:

If you think in terms of something like Legos, when building a molecule its a step by step process of adding and removing functional groups and atoms all in hopes of making a final product. Lets say we had 3 bricks, red, green, and blue stacked on top of each other in that order. A substitution reaction would be taking off the blue brick and replacing it with lets say a red one. In contrast the elimination reaction simply removes the blue one and you end with just a red and a green.

In terms of O-Chem an elimination is used to create double bonds where as the substitution changes functional groups.

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