# Synthesis of phenethyl alcohol from benzene

How can I make phenethyl alcohol $$(\ce{C6H5CH2CH2OH})$$ from benzene?

I have got information that phenethyl alcohol is made from benzene by Friedel-Crafts reaction between benzene and ethylene oxide in the presence of aluminium trichloride as follows:

$$\ce{C6H6 + CH2CH2O + AlCl3 → C6H5CH2CH2OAlCl2 + HCl}$$

But I have no idea how it reacts and proceeds to work.

Can anyone help me understanding the mechanism of synthesis and reaction of making phenethyl alcohol from benzene?

$$\ce{AlCl3}$$ is a Lewis acid and will bind to the oxygen of the ethylene oxide giving a species that functions as $$\ce{[R2O-AlCl2]+}.$$
This cationic species will be attacked at carbon by the electron-rich aromatic ring in much the same way as a standard Friedel-Crafts reaction intermediate generated from an alkyl halide to give $$\ce{[Ph-CH2CH2-OAlCl2]+}.$$ This then loses $$\ce{HCl}$$ to give $$\ce{PhCH2CHOAlCl2}$$ which is stable until aqueous workup which gives phenethyl alcohol.