Can methyl oxirane(epoxide) (a mono substituted 3 membered cyclic ether) form alcohols by reacting it with Grignard reagent? If yes, can you please explain the reaction with mechanism? If no, why?
Yes, Girgnard reagents can act as nucleophiles in the ring opening of epoxides. Nucleophilic attack occurs much faster at the less hindered carbon, so the product of this reaction will predominate. The reaction results in the formation of an alkoxide, and does not form the alcohol until treated with a protic acid. The mechanism for Grignard addition to epoxypropane (methyl oxirane) is:
For 2-methyl-2,3-epoxybutane, a more hindered epoxide, the addition still occurs at the less hindered carbon: