Aldol condensation
An aldol condensation is an organic reaction
Organic reaction
Organic reactions are chemical reactions involving organic compounds. The basic organic chemistry reaction types are addition reactions, elimination reactions, substitution reactions, pericyclic reactions, rearrangement reactions, photochemical reactions and redox reactions. In organic synthesis,...

 in which an enol
Enols are alkenes with a hydroxyl group affixed to one of the carbon atoms composing the double bond. Alkenes with a hydroxyl group on both sides of the double bond are called enediols. Deprotonated anions of enols are called enolates...

 or an enolate ion reacts with a carbonyl
In organic chemistry, a carbonyl group is a functional group composed of a carbon atom double-bonded to an oxygen atom: C=O. It is common to several classes of organic compounds, as part of many larger functional groups....

 compound to form a β-hydroxyaldehyde or β-hydroxyketone, followed by a dehydration
Dehydration reaction
In chemistry and the biological sciences, a dehydration reaction is usually defined as a chemical reaction that involves the loss of water from the reacting molecule. Dehydration reactions are a subset of elimination reactions...

 to give a conjugated enone
An enone is an unsaturated chemical compound or functional group consisting of a conjugated system of an alkene and a ketone. The simplest enone is methyl vinyl ketone or CH2=CHCOCH3....


Aldol condensations are important in organic synthesis
Organic synthesis
Organic synthesis is a special branch of chemical synthesis and is concerned with the construction of organic compounds via organic reactions. Organic molecules can often contain a higher level of complexity compared to purely inorganic compounds, so the synthesis of organic compounds has...

, providing a good way to form carbon–carbon bonds. The Robinson annulation
Robinson annulation
The Robinson annulation is an organic reaction used to create a six-member ring α,β-unsaturated cyclic ketone, using a ketone and methyl vinyl ketone...

 reaction sequence features an aldol condensation; the Wieland-Miescher ketone
Wieland-Miescher ketone
The Wieland–Miescher ketone is a racemic bicyclic diketone and is a versatile synthon which has so far been employed in the total synthesis of more than 50 natural products, predominantly sesquiterpenoids, diterpenes and steroids possessing possible biological properties including anticancer,...

 product is an important starting material for many organic syntheses.