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Reduction of Carbonyl Groups to Methylene Groups

Reduction of Carbonyl Groups to Methylene Groups: Introduction

The reduction of carbonyl groups to the corresponding methylene groups is mainly carried out by two methods.

In the first one, referred to as Clemmensen reduction, aldehydes and ketones are reduced with hydrochloric acid and amalgamated zinc as reducing agent.

The Wolff-Kishner reduction is the second methodology. In this reduction, the carbonyl function is first converted into a hydrazone, followed by loss of nitrogen to form the methylene group. The Wolff-Kishner reduction is mainly used for the reduction of ketones and oxocarboxylic acids.

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