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Question

(a) How is ethane prepared by Wurtz reaction?
(b) How can we prepare ethane by reduction of a halogen compound?

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Solution

(a) In preparation of ethane by Wurtz reaction, methyl bromide (BrH3Br) or methyl iodide (CH3I) and sodium are heated in the presence of dry ether to obtain ethane (CH3CH3).

​2CH3I + 2Na Dry ether CH3CH3 + 2NaI

(b) Reduction of halogen compound (like ethyl iodide) in the presence of the combination of Zn + Cu in alcohol yields ethane:

CH3CH3I+2[H]C2H6+HIC2H5Br+2[H]C2H6+HBr

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