FAQs on Free Radical Reactions in JEE

According to JEE syllabus, free radical reactions cover a wide range of reactions in organic chemistry. Having a good understanding of the mechanism of free radical reactions helps you understand a majority of reactions in organic chemistry. Some FAQs related to free radical reactions are underlined below:

What is a Free Radical Reaction?

Free radical reactions in organic chemistry are defined as the reactions involving free radicals obtained from homolysis or homolytic cleavage. In such reactions, each bonding partner receives an equal number of electrons. A general free radical reaction involving homolysis can be given as:

radical reaction

What is the general mechanism for free radical reactions?

JEE syllabus involves wide range of free radical reactions. One of these reactions is anti-Markovnikov addition. A general chemical reaction and its mechanism are underlined below:

chemical reaction


Mechanism of anti-Markovnikov addition: Reaction proceeds in several steps involving:

  • Generation of free radical through homolytic cleavage.
  • Attack of generated free radical on the hydrogen halide to generate halide radical through homolysis.
  • Attack of generated halide radical on alkene molecule to generate alkyl radical through homolysis.
  • Attack of generated alkyl radical on hydrogen halide to form alkyl halide through homolytic cleavage of hydrogen halide bond.

Mechanism of Free Radical

Which reference books can one follow for free radical reactions?

While covering general organic chemistry for JEE, one must go through the NCERT class 11th and class 12th chemistry textbook part-2. A brisk walk through this book not only gives you a sound idea of the various topics you need to cover according to the JEE syllabus but also develops the fundamentals regarding the chapter. Apart from this, you can follow a reference book to understand the mechanism of the reactions not given in the NCERT textbook. Some authentic books for understanding the mechanism of organic reactions include Organic Chemistry by Solomons & Fryhle and Organic Chemistry by Morrison & Boyd.

For further details related to free radical reactions for JEE chemistry, get in touch with our mentors here at Byju’s.