In my A-level chemistry course, one of the topics is on alkenes in which we have to learn that the major product of $\ce{H-\color{green}{X}}$ reactions with unsymmetrical alkenes is the one formed via the most stable intermediary carbocation (one with most alkyl groups attached). I want to know why it is the most stable carbocation that causes for the majority of the products and not the least stable since surely the carbocation that has the positive charge least equally distributed would cause for the most reactions as it would be the most polar.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The protonation of alkenes is a reversible process so the most energetically stable cation gets formed most. this reversibility is much faster than the capture of the cation by X- $\endgroup$
    – Waylander
    Commented Feb 13 at 10:00
  • $\begingroup$ similar: chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/30893/… $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn
    Commented Feb 13 at 10:01


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.