Sommelet reaction

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The Sommelet reaction is an organic reaction in which a benzyl halide is converted to an aldehyde by action of hexamine and water [1][2][3].

The Sommelet reaction

A conceptually related reaction is the Duff reaction (halide replaced by an arene).

In the Kröhnke aldehyde synthesis [4] the oxidizing reagent is is a combination of pyridine and p-nitrosodimethylaniline.


  1. Marcel Sommelet (1913). "Sur un mode de décomposition des halogénoalcoylates d'hexaméthylène - tétramine". Compt. rend. 157: 852–854. 
  2. March, Jerry (1985). Advanced Organic Chemistry, Reactions, Mechanisms and Structure (third Edition ed.). John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-85472-7. 
  3. For an example see: Organic Syntheses, Coll. Vol. 4, p.918 (1963); Vol. 33, p.93 (1953).
  4. F. Kröhnke, Ber., 71B, 2583 (1938).