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Can someone please explain the mechanism of the reaction when we add 2 moles of $ \ce{Ph3P}$ and $\ce{PhLi}$ to 1,2-dichloroethane.

I know this is a type of Wittig reaction but I am not able to figure out how the reaction will work out.

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I was wrong, this is not a Wittig reaction. Just posting the answer to let anybody who comes in hunt for this in the near future.

On googling for about an hour, I discovered that this is indeed a preparation of phosphonium ylide which is the witting reagent.

On adding $ \ce{Ph_3P} $ to 1,2-dichloroethane , $\ce{PhLi}$ acts as an catalyst and eliminates $\ce{HCl}$ from both the carbons resulting in a phosphonium di ylide.

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    $\begingroup$ Pretty sure it's not a catalyst. $\endgroup$ – DSVA Nov 2 '17 at 8:01
  • $\begingroup$ Indeed it's just strong base, strong enough to deprotonate it twice. Catalysts aren't permanently destroyed in reactions which they're supposed to catalyse. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Nov 2 '17 at 14:24

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