# Is haloform reaction considered to be disproportionation? [duplicate]

A question in an exam listed a number of compounds and the task was to find the number of compounds which will undergo disproportionation in conc. $$\ce{NaOH}$$. One of the compounds was $$\ce{CCl3CHO}$$, which will undergo haloform to give $$\ce{CHCl3}$$ and $$\ce{HCOO-}$$. Since one of the carbons is getting reduced and the other is getting oxidized, I considered it to be undergoing disproportionation. According to this answer, as long as the same element gets oxidized/reduced, it is disproportionation; over here, the same element, carbon is getting oxidized/reduced, hence I think it is disproportionation, but the answer says otherwise.

It is impossible for the same atom to get oxidized and reduced at the same time, like for example $$\ce{P4}$$ in $$\ce{NaOH}$$, obviously not the exact same atom is getting oxidized and reduced; but the difference between $$\ce{P4}$$ and $$\ce{CCl3CHO}$$ is that the phosphorous atoms which are getting reduced are indistinguishable from the ones which are getting oxidized, which is not the case in $$\ce{CCl3CHO}$$.

So is $$\ce{CCl3CHO}$$ in conc. $$\ce{NaOH}$$ considered to be disproportionation or not?

• Canizzaro is disproportionation, this isn't. To some extent, you even answered why. BTW I'm unimpressed by your exam question, concept of disproportionation is largely useless, especially in organic chemistry. Apr 19 at 16:28
• Apr 20 at 1:51