A Level Nucleophilic Addition – Elimination Formation of Ethanamide

Click the structures and reaction arrows in sequence to view the 3D models and animations respectively

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Ethanamide is synthesised in a three step process as shown above. First, there is an initial nucleophilic addition of an amide cation to the carbonyl group, this then undegoes and elimination reaction before finally reaching the product.

Ethanamide (or acetamide as it is otherwise known) is a key laboratory reagent (where it is used as a dehydrating agent, in addition, ethanamide is one of the side chains in paracetemol:

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