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Beckmann Rearrangement


The Beckmann Rearrangement is an oxime reaction that can yield either amides or nitriles. It depends on the initial material of the reaction. Oximes acquired from ketones convert into amides, while oximes acquired from aldehydes modify into nitriles.

  • The Beckmann Rearrangement is a spontaneous reaction that can be used to convert an oxime to an amide in acidic conditions.
  • The reaction finally starts with the protonation of the alcohol group. It resulted in the formation of a desired exit group.
  • The group R transitions to the departing species, then to nitrogen, causing a carbocation and the emergence of a water particle.
  • The carbocation is attacked by an atom of water. It leads to the amide formation after tautomerization and deprotonation.

Beckmann Rearrangement is a chemical reaction in which an oxime gets transformed into an amide. A ketone or an aldehyde is treated with hydroxylamine to yield the oxime. The Beckmann Rearrangement reaction was invented by Ernst Otto Beckmann (German scientist).

The Beckmann Rearrangement procedure is as follows:

  • When cyclohexanone reacts with hydroxylamine, the oxime is produced.
  • After the alkyl substituent, "trans" is transformed into nitrogen, the hydroxyl of oxime experiences protonation.
  • The N-O connection is destroyed at the same time when the water is emitted.
  • Later, the isomerization process occurs. It protonates the nitrogen molecule. It leads to the synthesis of amine.


  • It's utilized in the pharmaceutical industry to make paracetamol. The process of converting a ketone to a ketoxime with the help of hydroxylamine results in this integration.
  • It is primarily employed in the production of various medicinal compounds and steroids.
  • Some chloro bicyclic lactams can be made using the Beckmann Rearrangement synthesis.

Fragmentation by Beckmann

  • Beckmann fragmentation is a reaction that competes with Beckmann rearrangement on a regular basis.
  • Fragmentation becomes a feasible reaction route when the group to the oxime is capable of stabilizing carbocation formation.
  • The reaction produces a carbocation and a nitrile, which are immediately intercepted and converted into a variety of compounds.
  • Under reaction circumstances, the nitrile can also be hydrolyzed to produce carboxylic acids.
  • Depending on the reaction conditions, fragmentation may be preferred to rearrangement.

  • Through hyperconjugation, quaternary carbon centres promote fragmentation by supporting formation of carbocation.
  • The "stable" carbocation is created. It then loses hydrogen to form an unsaturation site, as indicated in the diagram above.
  • The production of imines and ketones by nitrogen and oxygen atoms, respectively, promotes fragmentation.

  • Sulfur can also promote fragmentation, however, at a greater distance than nitrogen or oxygen.

  • Through the beta-silicon effect, silicon is capable of guiding fragmentation.
  • Nucleophilic fluoride from diethylaminosulfur trifluoride. It intercepts the carbocation intermediate in this process.

Important Questions

Q1. What is a rearrangement reaction?
A: Straight-chain alkanes are transformed to ramified isomers by heating in the presence of a catalyst. Examples include the pentane to isopentane and isomerization of n-butane to isobutane. Highly branched alkanes provide favourable combustion characteristics for internal combustion engines.

Q2. What is the difference between Benzil and Benzilic Acid Re-arrangement?
A: The benzilic acid rearrangement is the 1,2-rearrangement of 1,2-diketones to create alpha-hydroxy-carboxylic acids using a base. The potassium hydroxide reaction of benzil to create benzyl acid gives rise to this reaction. The response is a ring contraction when applied on cyclic diketones.

Q3. What is the purpose of Benzil?
A: Insecticides and therapeutic agents for medicinal intermediates are both commonly utilized with benzil. It's utilized in organic synthesis. Its major function in polymer chemistry is as a photoinitiator. It's employed in the free-radical curing of polymer networks.

Q4. What causes Carbocation rearrangement?
A: Carbocation rearrangements are common in organic chemistry and are defined by the usage of structural re-organizational "shifts" inside the molecule as the transfer of a carbocation from an unstable to a more stable state.

Q5. What is the process through which oxime is created?
A: Oximes are made via condensation of an aldehyde or a ketone with hydroxylamine. Aldehydes and hydroxylamine are used to make aldoximes, and ketones and hydroxylamine are used to make ketoximes. Oximes are often colourless crystals that are poorly soluble in liquids.

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