Emde degradation

The Emde degradation (also called Emde-reaction or Emde-reduction) is a method for the reduction of a quaternary ammonium cation to a tertiary amine with sodium amalgam [ H. Emde. "Ber deutsch chem Ges" 42 (1909) p2590] [ W Pötsch. "Lexikon bedeutender Chemiker" (VEB Bibliographisches Institut Leipzig, 1989) (ISBN 3817110553 ] [ M B Smith, J March. "March's Advanced Organic Chemistry" (Wiley, 2001) (ISBN 0-471-58589-0)]

This organic reaction was first described in 1909 by the German chemist Hermann Emde and was for a long time of great importance in structure elucidation of many alkaloids, for example that of ephedrine.

Alternative reducing agents exist for this reaction; for instance, lithium aluminium hydride.

ee also

* Related reactions are the Hofmann elimination and the Von Braun reaction


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