Chemistry Question #994

Julie, a 18 year old female from London asks on October 26, 2002,

Can you give me some information on the reaction of ascorbic acid and N-Bromosuccinimide? How do they relate to its chemical structure and what are the ratios?

viewed 14763 times

The answer

Reg Mitchell answered on October 29, 2002

N-Bromosuccinimide is an oxidising reagent and essentially supplies a small amount of Bromine radicals. These would oxidise vitamin C or ascorbic acid.

Ascorbic acid is an ene-diol which, with a radical, forms the corresponding H0-C=C-O. radical which is stabilised (this is how Vitamine C prevents bad radicals from oxidising our cells). This radical would itself ultimately get further oxidised with bromine (not much of that in the body!!) So, overall, ascorbic acid is oxidised by bromine.

Add to or comment on this answer using the form below.

Note: All submissions are moderated prior to posting.

If you found this answer useful, please consider making a small donation to