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The formation of a carbocation from a halogenoalkane is an example of A homolytic...

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roshan-rox | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted May 31, 2013 at 12:11 PM via web

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The formation of a carbocation from a halogenoalkane is an example of

A homolytic fission.

B heterolytic fission.

C an initiation reaction.

D a propagation reaction.

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mvcdc | Student, Graduate | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted May 31, 2013 at 12:54 PM (Answer #1)

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First, let us define some of the terms involved.

A carbocation is a species, more specifically, an ion, that contains a positively-charged (hence, cation) carbon atom. On the other hand, a halogenoalkane, is a species that contains one or more halogens (from Group VII) that are derived from alkanes, carbon containing compounds. 

Starting from a halogenoalkane, we can get a carbocation through heterolytic fission. The halogenoalkane is split thus releasing a carbocation and a free halide ion. Note that this reaction is reversible - that is, we can form back the starting species, the halogenoalkane. This process is an intermediate step in the so-called Sn1 mechanism, that passes through the carbocation formation step.

Hence, answer is B

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