I have read in my book that methane cannot be formed using Kolbe's reaction (mechanism — Organic Chemistry Portal). And honestly, I kinda think I get where they are coming from: that two radicals are required to get a hydrocarbon which can in the least be two methyl radicals (of course when substrate is sodium acetate) which can combine to give ethane.

Why can't we use a mixture of sodium formate and sodium acetate and expect some methane to be released? Why shouldn't it work?

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    $\begingroup$ If you notice the actual mechanism that you have provided, you would notice that R-H is formed albeit in a very small amount. $\endgroup$ Sep 2, 2020 at 9:37
  • $\begingroup$ Even though it deals with Wurtz reaction, tempted to call a dupe of chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/65303/… $\endgroup$ Sep 2, 2020 at 14:06


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