Sun April 15, 2012 By: Thomas Albin

Please explain the mechanism of hydration of alkenes.

Expert Reply
Wed April 18, 2012

Step 1:
An acid / base reaction. Protonation of the alkene to generate the more stable carbocation.  The p electrons act pairs as a Lewis base.
Step 2:
Attack of the nucleophilic water molecule on the electrophilic carbocation creates an oxonium ion.
Step 3:
An acid / base reaction. Deprotonation by a base generates the alcohol and regenerates the acid catalyst.
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