Wurtz reaction

Wurtz reaction
Alkyl halides react with sodium in dry ether to give hydrocarbons cont aining double the number of carbon atoms present in the halide. This reaction is known as Wurtz reaction.

 
The reaction is valuable for the synthesis of alkanes containing even number of carbon atoms (symmetrical) . All the hydrocarbons prepared by this method contain small amount of olefins as by product.
Crossed reaction of alkyl halides gives a mixture of hydrocarbons which maybe difficult to separate and the yields are low.
 
Mechanism 
Two mechanisms are  proposed  for this reaction:
1. Radical mechanism.
 
 2. Nucleophilic displacement
It involves the formation of intermediate alkyl sodium , which then reacts with a second molecule of alkyl halide.

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