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Reduction of Aldehydes and Ketones to Alcohols

Reduction of Aldehydes and Ketones to Alcohols: Laboratory Application

The reduction of aldehydes and ketones with metal hydrides is a valuable preparative method, because it can be carried out under mild conditions resulting in high yields. This allows for reductions on a small scale.

The reduction with sodium borohydride can be carried out in either aqueous or alcohol solution. On the other hand, the reaction with lithium aluminum requires non-aqueous, aprotic solvents, such as ether or THF. In protic solvents, LiAlH4 decomposes vehemently with development of H2 .

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