• Can NaBH4 reduce 1° alkyl halides ?. What will it reduce them to ? Alkanes ? Pls confirm.

  • @advait-girap
    AlLiH4 is normally used to reduce 1° alkyl halide, the reason being that during the process of the reaction, Al develops a negative charge. Being a metal it cannot handle the charge and instantly gives out a hydride ion. The fast removal makes the hydride a strong base and a nucleophile, favouring SN2, which works best for 1°.

    In NaBH4, the negative charge is developed by the non metal, B (which is relatively stable). This slows down the reaction making the hydride a weaker nucleophile. This favours SN1, which does not occur for 1°.

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