Just wondering what penicillin reacts with and if so, can you please write a word equation. I've tried to do some research on it but had no luck. would mean a lot if someone could help me out


closed as too broad by airhuff, Todd Minehardt, ron, Martin - マーチン May 18 '17 at 4:51

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    $\begingroup$ This is too broad, as penicillin undoubtedly reacts with a large number of things. While it's possible for an answer to list some of these reactions, it's not complete and Stack Exchange isn't suited for list-type questions. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol May 17 '17 at 9:08

To begin with, first pull up a structure of Penicillin (Image is in public domain):

enter image description here

Next, try to identify some of the functional groups, as an example I've marked two of them: one in yellow and one in blue.

enter image description here

The one which is marked in yellow is carboxylic acid ($\ce{R-COOH}$) and the blue one is an (secondary) amide ($\ce{R-NH-CO-R'}$). Do you remember any of the substances that react with these two groups? Some of the reactions you can think of are (I'm listing these for carboxylic acid, try thinking about amide yourself):

  • Sodium metal test
  • Acid base reactions (neutralization)
  • Decarboxylation reactions
  • Schmidt reaction ($\ce{R-COOH + HN3 -> R-NH2}$)
  • Reduction of acid to alcohol

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