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Carbonyl halides refer to those organic compounds that have the functional group -C(=O)-X, where X is any halogen atom. Alternatively referred to as acyl halide or acid halide, they are derived from oxoacid, where a halide group replaces hydroxyl group.
Being highly effective acylating agents under mild conditions, acyl halides are often encountered in organic synthesis as intermediates for the synthesis of other organic compounds. They are efficient partners in the synthesis of organic acids, aldehydes, amides, and esters. They are used in Friedal-Crafts acylation reactions for the synthesis of aromatic ketones. A variation of Suzuki-Miyaura coupling involves the coupling of arylboronic acid derivatives with acyl chlorides to give ketones. Acyl chlorides are important compounds for the synthesis of the popular Weinreb amides, which can be further converted to appropriate ketones. Ketenes are prepared from acyl chlorides containing alpha-hydrogen atom. Oxalyl chloride is used as a reagent in Swern oxidations. Molecules having more than one acyl halide are used as monomers in polymerization reactions. For instance, adipoyl chloride is used in the manufacture of Nylon. Valeryl chloride has found wide applicability in the manufacture of agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals.