Henry Rzepa's Blog Chemistry with a twist

April 12, 2015

The mechanism of borohydride reductions. Part 1: ethanal.

Sodium borohydride is the tamer cousin of lithium aluminium hydride (LAH). It is used in aqueous solution to e.g. reduce aldehydes and ketones, but it leaves acids, amides and esters alone. Here I start an exploration of why it is such a different reducing agent.
BH4

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