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Reduction using NaBH4 vs LiAlH4

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Uploaded on Mar 16, 2011

Firstly, sorry about the video quality and no audio. So, here's a little more info that might help understand why the two are different.

LiAlH4 is a stronger reducing agent than NaBH4 partly because of the electronegativity (EN) of the central atom. This is crucial because the mechanism requires hydrides to dissociate from the central atom and the lesser the EN of the central atom, the easier for the hydrides to attack the carbonyl C. Li is less EN than B so the electron cloud stays with the hydrides rather than the Li, hence, making H- more nucleophilic. Hope this helps!

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