I am able to think of two possible mechanisms for alcohol+PCl5 here, SN1 and SN2. In SN1, Inversion won't occur whereas, in SN2 inversion will occur. Which of the two is correct?

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    $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question? Reaction of alcohols with PCl5 and PCl3 $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 21, 2023 at 17:07
  • $\begingroup$ @NilayGhosh thanks for suggestion but that post does not talk about inversion that's why I have posted new question $\endgroup$
    – NNG
    Commented Feb 22, 2023 at 2:38

1 Answer 1


Reaction of PCl5 with alcohols leads to inversion. This was demonstrated with Malic Acid by Walden - so the process is sometimes referred to as Walden inversion. See discussion here or here


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