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Chloroacetonitrile is used in the electrochemical synthesis of cyanoacetic acid with carbon dioxide. It is involved in phase-transfer-catalyzed Darzen's condensation reaction with cyclohexanone. It is also used as an eluent additive in thermospray liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. Further, it is used to prepare polysubstituted pyrido[1,2-a]benzimidazole by reacting with other reactant such as malononitrile, aromatic aldehyde and pyridine.
Forms cyanomethyl esters with carboxylic acids, e.g. in the presence of Et3N, which are a useful protection method; the esters are readily cleaved by Na2S in aqueous acetone: Synth. Commun., 22, 693 (1992).
Good yields of ß-hydroxy nitriles have been obtained by Reformatsky-type reaction with aldehydes and ketones using Zn and TMS chloride: Tetrahedron Lett., 31, 2205 (1990). See Bromoacetonitrile, A13933.
In the presence of base, Darzens condensation with aldehydes and ketones, under conventional or phase-transfer conditions, gives glycidonitriles (cyano epoxides), readily converted to the homologated carboxylic acids, esters or aldehydes with loss of cyanide: J. Chem. Soc., Chem. Commun., 988 (1974); Coll. Czech. Chem. Commun., 53, 822 (1988).
Ritter reaction with tertiary alcohols yields 2-chloroacetamides which, on treatment with thiourea, provides a high-yield conversion of tertiary alcohols to the corresponding amines: Synthesis, 1709 (2000):
For use in vicarious nucleophilic substitution of hydrogen in nitro-substituted hetereocycles, see 2-Nitrothiophene, A17464.
Hoseini, S. J.; Nasrabadi, H.; Fath, R. H.; Moradi, Z.; Rashidi, M. Oxidative Addition of Propargyl Halides, Chloroacetonitrile, and Ethyl Chloroacetate to a Dimethylplatinum(II) Complex: Kinetic and DFT Studies. Organometallics 2014, 33 (7), 1689-1699.
Kimura, S. Y.; Komaki, Y.; Plewa, M. J.; Marinas, B. J. Chloroacetonitrile and N,2-Dichloroacetamide Formation from the Reaction of Chloroacetaldehyde and Monochloramine in Water. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2013, 47 (21), 12382-12390.
Hazard Statements: H226-H301-H310-H331
Flammable liquid and vapour. Toxic if swallowed. Fatal in contact with skin. Toxic if inhaled.
Precautionary Statements: P210-P261-P301+P310a-P303+P361+P353-P405-P501a
Keep away from heat/sparks/open flames/hot surfaces. - No smoking. Avoid breathing dust/fume/gas/mist/vapours/spray. IF SWALLOWED: Immediately call a POISON CENTER/doctor IF ON SKIN (or hair): Remove/Take off immediately all contaminated clothing. Rinse skin with water/shower. Store locked up. Dispose of contents/container in accordance with local/regional/national/international regulations.