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OCR Chemistry Notes – A2 Level

Jack Wood
1.1 Introduction to Aromatic Chemistry


- Arenes are aromatic hydrocarbons containing one or more benzene rings.

- Benzene molecule is made up of six carbon atoms.
- Which is also bonded to one hydrogen atom.
- It has the molecular formula C6H6.
- Anything with a benzene ring is classified as an aromatic compound.
- Term ‘Aroma’ meaning fragrance, resins and plant materials give off
pleasant smells.
- Aspirin used as a pain killer, has no odour and yet its structure contains a
benzene ring.
- Groups attached to a benzene ring usually contain –Cl, -Br, -NO2, and
alkyl groups with CH3 or –C2H5 (ethyl).


- Benzene is the starting material for the synthesis of many other aromatic
- Benzene is classified as a carcinogen, linked to causing cancer.
- Benzene is a colourless liquid, with a sweet odour and it is highly
- Natural sources of benzene include Volcanoes and Forest Fires.
- Benzene is a component of crude oil, petrol and cigarette smoke.
1.2 The Structure of Benzene

Problems with the Kekule Structure

- It fails to explain the properties of benzene fully, even though It fitted the
molecular C6H6.

Benzenes Low Reactivity

- Kekules model failed to explain the low chemical reactivity of Benzene.

- If C=C double bonds were present then benzene would react in a similar
way to alkenes.
- Each C=C bond would be expected to react with bromine water,
decolourising it.
- Nor does it take place in electrophilic addition reactions expected from
the C=C bond in alkenes.

Kekules equilibrium model of benzene

- He suggested that benzene had two forms, differing only by the positions
of the double bonds.
- He suggested that they were in such equilibrium that an approaching
bromine molecule could not be attracted to a double bond before the
structure changed. Hence Bromine could not react with the double

The Carbon- Carbon bond lengths in Benzene

- The alternating single and double bonds was represented as a

symmetrical molecule. But C-C single bonds and C=C bonds have
different lengths.
- Many years later it was revealed that the carbon-carbon bond lengths in
Benzene are the same length: 0.139nm.
- This is between the C-C length of 0.153nm and the C=C bond length of

Hydrogenation of Benzene

- The Kekule structure of Benzene contained three C=C bonds, the name
for the proposed structure was cyclohexa-1,3,5-triene.
- When an alkene reacts with hydrogen, the energy change is called the
enthalpy change of hydrogenation.
- When one C=C bond reacts with hydrogen, the enthalpy change of
hydrogenation is -120kJ mol-1.
- When it reacts with three C=C bonds, the enthalpy change of
hydrogenation is expected to be -360kJmol-1, three times that of
- The actual structure of Benzene has much less energy than the proposed
Kekule structure.
- The energy is known as the delocalisation energy, or resonance energy,
of Benzene.
- This evidence suggests that the real structure of Benzene is more stable
than a structure containing C=C bonds. It helps to explain why it is less
reactive than alkenes.

1.3 The delocalised model of Benzene

The delocalised model of benzene

- Benzene is a cyclic hydrocarbon with six carbon atoms and six hydrogen
atoms. The six carbon atoms are arranged in a planar hexagonal ring.
Each carbon atom is bonded to two other carbon atoms and one
hydrogen atom.
- The shape around each carbon atom is a bond angle of 120 degrees.
- Each carbon atoms has four outer shell electrons. The three bonds in this
plane are called sigma bonds. This leaves a fourth outer shell electron in
a 2p orbital above and below the plane of carbon atoms.
- The electron in a p-orbital of a carbon atom overlaps with the electrons in
the p-orbitals of the carbon atoms on the other side.
- The overlap produces a system of Pi Bonds which spread over all six
carbon atoms.
1.4 Benzene and its Reactions


- In Benzene the region of high electron density above and below the plane
of carbon atoms attracts electrophiles.
- Benzene takes part in substitution reactions instead of addition reactions.

Electrophilic substitution by Nitration

- In nitration, one of the hydrogen atoms on the Benzene ring is replaced

by a nitro (-NO2) group.
- It reacts with a nitrated mixture of concentrated nitric acid and
concentrated sulphuric acid at a temperature of 50C, H2SO4 acts as a
- Mixture is usually prepared in a pear shaped flask.
- Nitrating mixture mixed together carefully while cooling the mixture in a
beaker of water, Benzene is then added carefully, keeping the
temperature below 50C.
- Nitrobenzene is a pale yellow liquid and is an important starting material
in the preparation of dyes, pesticides and pharmaceuticals e.g.

Nitration of Methylbenzene

- Also called toluene can be also nitrated with mixture of concentrated

nitric and sulphuric acids.
- It can lead to the formation of 2,4,6-trinitromethylbenzene
(trinitrotoluene, TNT) an explosive.

Halogenation of Benzene
- Benzene does not react with halogens on its own, but it does with a
halogen carrier such as, FeCl3, FeBr3, AlCl3 and AlBr3. Iron metal can be
used as it reacts with any halogen present to form the required Iron(III)
- This is an Electrophilic substitution reaction in which one of the hydrogen
atoms is replaced by a halogen atom.

The reaction with Chlorine

- Chlorine reacts with Benzene at room temperature and pressure in the

presence of AlCl3, FeCl3 or Fe to produce Chlorobenzene.
- Chlorobenzene is used as a solvent and in the production of pesticides.

The reaction with Bromine

- Benzene reacts with bromine in the same way that it reacts with chlorine.
This time the halogen carrier catalyst needed is AlBr3, FeBr3 or Fe. The
organic product is Bromobenzene, a compound used in the production of

1.5 Substitution reactions of Benzene

General mechanism of Electrophilic substitution

- Electrophilic substitution reactions occur in benzene because of the

delocalised ring of electrons above and below the plane of carbon atoms.
- The electron dense ring attacks an electrophiles, it then accepts a pair of
pi electrons from the delocalised ring to form a covalent bond.
- The delocalised pi electron cloud has been disrupted and the
intermediate is less stable than benzene.
- The unstable intermediate immediately loses the hydrogen as an H+ ion.
The delocalised ring of electrons reforms and stability is restored.


- The electrophile is the nitryl cation or nitronium ion and has the formula
- The equation: HNO3 + H2SO4  NO2+ + HSO4- + H2O
- The NO2+ electrophile then reacts with benzene. The mechanism shown
in book.
- Finally the H+ reacts with the HSO4- from the first step to reform H2SO4
so the sulphuric acid is acting as a catalyst.
- H+ + HSO40  H2SO4

- Benzene is too stable to react with Bromine on its own, Br2, however it
does react in the presence of a carrier such as FeBr3. The halogen carrier
generates the Bromonium ion, Br+, which is a more powerful electrophile
than Br2.
- Equation: Br2 + FeBr3  Br+ + FeBr4-
- Finally the H+ reacts with FeBr4- from the first step to form the other
product of the overall reaction, HBr, and to reform FeBr3. So the Iron (III)
bromide is acting as a catalyst.

Different Halogen Carriers

- For bromination the halogen carrier is AlBr3, FeBr3 or Fe.

- FOR Chlorination, Alcl3, FeCl3 or Fe.
- You can use Fe in both as it forms the halide Iron (III) halide.

1.6 The reactivity of alkenes and Benzene

Cyclohexene and Bromine Water

1.17 Amines

Something fishy about amines?

- Amines are all derivatives of ammonia, hydrogen atoms from the

ammonia molecule are replaced one at a time by hydrocarbon chains
(shown by R), primary, secondary and tertiary amines.
- Amphetamine is a complex amine used to treat daytime drowsiness and
chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Phenylephrine is an amine commonly used as decongestant, in many
cold and flu medicines, with paracetamol.
- Adrenaline is fight of flight amine helping the body to deal with sudden
- Amines are also known for their unpleasant smells, said to be a fishy
Naming Amines

- A primary amine is one with only one carbon chain attached to the
- Four carbons in the alkyl chain, given the name butyl.
- A secondary amine is one with two carbon chains attached to the
- In Fig 5. Contains three carbons in longest chain, so it is –Propyl.
- Suffix added is –amine.
- Shorter alkyl chain has one carbon attached to Nitrogen so it is N-methyl
- So the compound is N-methylpropylamine.

Basicity in amines

- Amines are weak bases (so is ammonia)

- Base is defined as proton acceptor. Each has a lone pair of electrons on
nitrogen atom and they can accept a proton H+.
- When base accepts a proton, a dative covalent bond froms between the
lone pair of the nitrogen atom and the proton.

Base Reactions of amines

- Amines = base + acid  salt

- Ethylamine reacts with hydrochloric acid to form an alkylammonium salt:
CH3CH2NH2(aq)+HCl(aq)CH3CH2NH3+Cl-(aq), this forms
ethylammonium chloride.

1.18 Amines and their Reactions

Preparation of primary aliphatic amines

- Aliphatic amines can be prepared by warming halogenoalkanes gently

with an excess of ammonia, using ethanol as a solvent. The formation of
propylamine by the reaction of 1-chloropropane with ammonia.
- As a nucleophile, ammonia has a lone pair of electrons and attacks the
delta positive carbon atom in the polar carbon-halogen bond. The
product propylamine, has a lone pair of electrons, this attacks another
molecule of 1 chloropropane, causing further substitution.

Preparing aromatic amines

- Nitrobenzene and other nitroarenes can be reduced with a mixture of tin

and concentrated hydrochloric acid, heated under reflux, followed by the
neutralisation of the hydrochloric acid, aromatic amines are formed as
products in these reactions.

Synthesis of dyes form phenylamine

- Two steps in industrial preparation of dyestuffs:

- Diazotisation
- Coupling Reactions


- Responsible for the formation of Diazonium ion. When a mixture of

phenylamine and nitrous acid is kept below 10C a Diazonium salt is
- Nitrous acid, HNO2, generated in reaction mixture, by reacting Sodium
Nitrite, NaNO2, and excess Hydrochloric acid, HCl.
- Cold nitrous acid then reacts with an aromatic amine to form Diazonium


- A coupling reaction happens when the Diazonium salt, benzenediazonium

chloride, is reacted with a phenol or aromatic compound such as amine,
under alkaline conditions.
- Two benzene rings are linked together as an azo functional group -N=N-
- The product is brightly coloured that is used as an azo dye.