Answer to Question #71119 in Organic Chemistry for zetabyte

Question #71119
How do you form a Z-enolate over an E-enolate? Does it have to do with kinetics vs thermodynamics or just starics, or both? What is the reasoning behind this selectivity?
1
Expert's answer
2017-11-16T11:39:07-0500
Both thermodynamic and steric factors determine the formation of Z-enolate.
On the one hand, use of weak, sterically unhindered base in amounts a little bit less than
stoichiometric and protonic solvent encourage reverse reaction of the enolate formation.
In these conditions thermodynamically more stable (Z)-enolate is formed.
On the other hand, when R1 (R1C(O)CH2R2) group is bulky (for example, tert-butyl group),
interaction between R1 and R2 becomes strong and (Z)-enolate is preferably formed.

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