Definition of Grignard Reagent

Grignard reagent is composed of a halogen (X) and an alkyl or aryl group (-R) attached to magnesium on either side. The general formula of the reagent is R-Mg-X. The typical Grignard reagent has ethyl as an alkyl group and it is shown as CH3CH2MgBr. It is synthesized in labs by adding a small amount of magnesium in haloalkane. Ether is used for stabilizing organomagnesium compounds.


Grignard reagent when reacts with water leads to the formation of alkanes. When aldehydes and ketones are made to react with the Grignard reagent, primary and secondary alcohols are formed respectively and the reaction between the Grignard reagent and carbon dioxide results in the formation of carboxylic acids.

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