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Why is AlCl3 a Good Catalyst

A powerful Lewis acid is aluminium chloride. It is most widely used in the halogenation (especially chlorination) of aromatic groups as a catalyst, as well as in the reaction of Friedel Crafts. AlCl3 (and other Lewis acids like it can organise and promote the breaking of these bonds into halogenes.

AlCl3, as chlorine (Cl2) is added, facilitates the chlorination of aromatic molecules such as benzene. AlCl3 is regenerated, and the by-product is HCl. Also supported by AlCl3 is the Friedel-Crafts reaction. The product is an aromatic ketone and the by-product is HCl in Friedel-Crafts acylation.

AlCl3, though still an electrophile, is a neutral compound. The explanation can be due to the existence of aluminium around an unfinished octet. Al has just 6 electrons inside it, as shown, which makes it deficient, as well as the whole compound electron.


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