When learning about E1 we were taught that three things are important factors to judge if the reaction is E1 or E2
- Substrate ( 3,2,1 favours E2 but only 3 favours E1 )
- Base ( Stronger Base favours E2 , weaker Base disfavours E2 hence suggests E1 ) But E1 requires a base however weak
- Leaving group ( E1 is more sensitive to LG because it initiates E1 ) Bad LG disfavours both , excellent LG favours E1 more
fact, the reverse path (starting from the alcohol and ending with the alkene) is a reaction that we have already studied. It is just an E1 reaction
Initial question : How do you have an elimination reaction without a base, that too in the presence of an acid ? (Although I understand that E1 's rate doesnt depend on a Base but it is still needed) Answer : there is a Base ( H20) which makes it look very much like E1 .
Edit : it behaves very much like an E1 but with an extra step
Step 0: converts the bad LG to an excellent LG
Step 1: LG leaves
Step 2 : Base abstracts proton to make alkene
New question: Why does water behave like a base in an acidic mixture? And why does it not react with the H+ already in the solution ?