Question Video: Recalling the Name of the Reaction in Which a Hydrogen Atom on a Benzene Ring Is Replaced with a Sulfo- Group | Nagwa Question Video: Recalling the Name of the Reaction in Which a Hydrogen Atom on a Benzene Ring Is Replaced with a Sulfo- Group | Nagwa

Question Video: Recalling the Name of the Reaction in Which a Hydrogen Atom on a Benzene Ring Is Replaced with a Sulfo- Group Chemistry • Third Year of Secondary School

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Derivatives of alkylbenzene sulfonic acid are used as detergents. What name is given to the process of replacing a hydrogen atom on a benzene ring by a -SO₃H group?

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Video Transcript

Derivatives of alkylbenzene sulfonic acid are used as detergents. What name is given to the process of replacing a hydrogen atom on a benzene ring by a SO3H group?

Alkylbenzene sulfonic acid consists of a benzene ring that has two substituents bonded on opposite sides of the ring. One of these groups is an alkyl group, which may be linear or branched, while the other group, SO3H, is a sulfo group. Alkylbenzene sulfonic acid can be treated with a strong base, like sodium hydroxide, to produce an alkylbenzene sulfonate salt and water. Alkylbenzene sulfonate salts are used as detergents and are commonly found in laundry detergent, dish detergent, and other household cleaners.

In order to produce these common detergents, alkylbenzene sulfonic acid must first be prepared. This can be accomplished by reacting an alkylbenzene with hot concentrated sulfuric acid. Over the course of this reaction, a hydrogen atom on the benzene ring is replaced by an SO3H group. As the SO3H group is a sulfo group, this reaction is an example of sulfonation, a substitution reaction where a hydrogen atom is replaced by a sulfo group.

So the process of replacing a hydrogen atom on a benzene ring with an SO3H group is called a sulfonation reaction.

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