Hofmann rearrangement
Overview
 
The Hofmann rearrangement is the organic
Organic chemistry
Organic chemistry is a subdiscipline within chemistry involving the scientific study of the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation of carbon-based compounds, hydrocarbons, and their derivatives...

 reaction of a primary amide
Amide
In chemistry, an amide is an organic compound that contains the functional group consisting of a carbonyl group linked to a nitrogen atom . The term refers both to a class of compounds and a functional group within those compounds. The term amide also refers to deprotonated form of ammonia or an...

 to a primary amine
Amine
Amines are organic compounds and functional groups that contain a basic nitrogen atom with a lone pair. Amines are derivatives of ammonia, wherein one or more hydrogen atoms have been replaced by a substituent such as an alkyl or aryl group. Important amines include amino acids, biogenic amines,...

 with one fewer carbon
Carbon
Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds...

 atom.


The reaction is named after its discoverer: August Wilhelm von Hofmann
August Wilhelm von Hofmann
August Wilhelm von Hofmann was a German chemist.-Biography:Hofmann was born at Gießen, Grand Duchy of Hesse. Not intending originally to devote himself to physical science, he first took up the study of law and philology at Göttingen. But he then turned to chemistry, and studied under Justus von...

. This reaction is also sometimes called the Hofmann degradation, and should not be confused with the Hofmann elimination
Hofmann elimination
Hofmann elimination is a process where an amine is reacted to create a tertiary amine and an alkene by treatment with excess methyl iodide followed by treatment with silver oxide, water, and heat.After the first step, a quaternary ammonium iodide salt is created...

.
The reaction of bromine
Bromine
Bromine ") is a chemical element with the symbol Br, an atomic number of 35, and an atomic mass of 79.904. It is in the halogen element group. The element was isolated independently by two chemists, Carl Jacob Löwig and Antoine Jerome Balard, in 1825–1826...

 with sodium hydroxide forms sodium hypobromite
Hypobromite
The hypobromite ion, also called alkaline bromine water, is BrO−. Bromine is in the +1 oxidation state. Hypobromite is the bromine compound analogous to hypochlorites found in common bleaches, and in immune cells...

 in situ
In situ
In situ is a Latin phrase which translated literally as 'In position'. It is used in many different contexts.-Aerospace:In the aerospace industry, equipment on board aircraft must be tested in situ, or in place, to confirm everything functions properly as a system. Individually, each piece may...

, which transforms the primary amide into an intermediate isocyanate
Isocyanate
Isocyanate is the functional group of elements –N=C=O , not to be confused with the cyanate functional group which is arranged as –O–C≡N or with isocyanide, R-N≡C. Any organic compound which contains an isocyanate group may also be referred to in brief as an isocyanate. An isocyanate may have more...

.
Encyclopedia
The Hofmann rearrangement is the organic
Organic chemistry
Organic chemistry is a subdiscipline within chemistry involving the scientific study of the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation of carbon-based compounds, hydrocarbons, and their derivatives...

 reaction of a primary amide
Amide
In chemistry, an amide is an organic compound that contains the functional group consisting of a carbonyl group linked to a nitrogen atom . The term refers both to a class of compounds and a functional group within those compounds. The term amide also refers to deprotonated form of ammonia or an...

 to a primary amine
Amine
Amines are organic compounds and functional groups that contain a basic nitrogen atom with a lone pair. Amines are derivatives of ammonia, wherein one or more hydrogen atoms have been replaced by a substituent such as an alkyl or aryl group. Important amines include amino acids, biogenic amines,...

 with one fewer carbon
Carbon
Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds...

 atom.


The reaction is named after its discoverer: August Wilhelm von Hofmann
August Wilhelm von Hofmann
August Wilhelm von Hofmann was a German chemist.-Biography:Hofmann was born at Gießen, Grand Duchy of Hesse. Not intending originally to devote himself to physical science, he first took up the study of law and philology at Göttingen. But he then turned to chemistry, and studied under Justus von...

. This reaction is also sometimes called the Hofmann degradation, and should not be confused with the Hofmann elimination
Hofmann elimination
Hofmann elimination is a process where an amine is reacted to create a tertiary amine and an alkene by treatment with excess methyl iodide followed by treatment with silver oxide, water, and heat.After the first step, a quaternary ammonium iodide salt is created...

.

Mechanism

The reaction of bromine
Bromine
Bromine ") is a chemical element with the symbol Br, an atomic number of 35, and an atomic mass of 79.904. It is in the halogen element group. The element was isolated independently by two chemists, Carl Jacob Löwig and Antoine Jerome Balard, in 1825–1826...

 with sodium hydroxide forms sodium hypobromite
Hypobromite
The hypobromite ion, also called alkaline bromine water, is BrO−. Bromine is in the +1 oxidation state. Hypobromite is the bromine compound analogous to hypochlorites found in common bleaches, and in immune cells...

 in situ
In situ
In situ is a Latin phrase which translated literally as 'In position'. It is used in many different contexts.-Aerospace:In the aerospace industry, equipment on board aircraft must be tested in situ, or in place, to confirm everything functions properly as a system. Individually, each piece may...

, which transforms the primary amide into an intermediate isocyanate
Isocyanate
Isocyanate is the functional group of elements –N=C=O , not to be confused with the cyanate functional group which is arranged as –O–C≡N or with isocyanide, R-N≡C. Any organic compound which contains an isocyanate group may also be referred to in brief as an isocyanate. An isocyanate may have more...

. The intermediate isocyanate is hydrolyzed to a primary amine, giving off carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

.

Variations

Several reagents can substitute for bromine. N-Bromosuccinimide
N-Bromosuccinimide
N-Bromosuccinimide or NBS is a chemical reagent which is used in radical substitution and electrophilic addition reactions in organic chemistry. NBS can be considered a convenient source of cationic bromine.-Preparation:...

 and 1,8-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undec-7-ene (DBU) can effect a Hofmann rearrangement. In the following example, the intermediate isocyanate is trapped by methanol
Methanol
Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol, wood alcohol, wood naphtha or wood spirits, is a chemical with the formula CH3OH . It is the simplest alcohol, and is a light, volatile, colorless, flammable liquid with a distinctive odor very similar to, but slightly sweeter than, ethanol...

, forming a carbamate
Carbamate
Carbamates are organic compounds derived from carbamic acid . A carbamate group, carbamate ester, and carbamic acids are functional groups that are inter-related structurally and often are interconverted chemically. Carbamate esters are also called urethanes.-Synthesis:Carbamic acids are derived...

.


In a similar fashion, the intermediate isocyanate can be trapped by tert-butanol
Tert-Butanol
tert-Butanol, or 2-methyl-2-propanol, is the simplest tertiary alcohol. It is one of the four isomers of butanol. tert-Butanol is a clear liquid with a camphor-like odor. It is very soluble in water and miscible with ethanol and diethyl ether...

, yielding the t-butoxycarbonyl
Di-tert-butyl dicarbonate
Di-tert-butyl dicarbonate is a reagent widely used in organic synthesis. This carbonate ester reacts with amines to give N-tert-butoxycarbonyl or so-called t-BOC derivatives. These derivatives do not behave as amines, which allows certain subsequent transformations to occur that would have...

 (Boc)-protected amine.

A mild alternative to bromine is also (bis(trifluoroacetoxy)iodo)benzene
(Bis(trifluoroacetoxy)iodo)benzene
benzene, C10H5F6IO4, is a hypervalent iodine compound used as a reagent in organic chemistry. The reagent is used in an acidic modification of the Hofmann rearrangement. One example is the conversion of cyclobutanecarboxamine to cyclobutylamine hydrochloride...

.

Applications

  • Aliphatic & Aromatic amides are converted into aliphatic and aromatic amines, respectively
  • In the preparations of Anthranilic Acid from Phthalimide
  • Nicotinic acid is converted into 3-Amino pyridine
  • The Symmetrical structure of α-phenyl propanamide does not change after hofmann reaction.

See also

  • Beckmann rearrangement
    Beckmann rearrangement
    The Beckmann rearrangement, named after the German chemist Ernst Otto Beckmann , is an acid-catalyzed rearrangement of an oxime to an amide...

  • Curtius rearrangement
    Curtius rearrangement
    The Curtius rearrangement , as first defined by Theodor Curtius, is a chemical reaction that involves the rearrangement of an acyl azide to an isocyanate. Several reviews have been published....

  • Iodoform reaction
  • Lossen rearrangement
    Lossen rearrangement
    The Lossen rearrangement is the conversion of a hydroxamic acid to an isocyanate via the formation of an O-acyl, sulfonyl, or phosphoryl intermediate hydroxamic acid O-derivative and then conversion to its conjugate base. Here, 4-Toluenesulfonyl chloride is used to form a sulfonyl O-derivative...

  • Schmidt reaction
    Schmidt reaction
    The Schmidt reaction is an organic reaction involving alkyl migration over the carbon-nitrogen chemical bond in an azide with expulsion of nitrogen...

  • Weerman degradation
    Weerman degradation
    The Weerman degradation is an organic reaction in carbohydrate chemistry in which an aldonamide is degraded by sodium hypochlorite, forming a new sugar with one less carbon. The reaction is named after R.A. Weerman...

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