To form an electrophile for this reaction to occur, the acyl halide interacts with the catalyst. However, on reviewing the conditions for the reaction, I have encountered that the 2 equivalence of the acyl halide is required.

In the case of the acyl chloride, there are 2 ways the acyl chloride can react with the catalyst.

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(Sorry for the sloppy diagram)

In the case of the first reaction, Cl is good leaving group, but what is the reasoning of the second reaction to occur?

  • $\begingroup$ Strength of the O-Al bond is a significant factor $\endgroup$
    – Waylander
    Apr 22, 2019 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Waylander, could it be that Al has vacant p-orbital where the 1 lone pair from oxygen atom is donated, to create a bond forming the adduct (similar as in BF3, since both are in the same group)? $\endgroup$ Apr 22, 2019 at 17:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That is exactly what occurs $\endgroup$
    – Waylander
    Apr 22, 2019 at 17:52


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