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Louis Bouveault (1864-1909), a French chemist and physician who found that the action of sodium upon nitriles resulted in the formation of monosodium derivatives where the sodium atom was attached to the carbon atom closest to the group -CN. He studied in detail the synthesis of many new compounds, among them, -ketone nitriles, primary alcohols, fatty acids, etc. His most important contribution is the Bouveault synthesis of aldehydes, a one-pot substitution reaction that replaces an alkyl or aryl group with a formyl using a disubstituted formamide. He illustrated his reaction by preparing valeraldehyde, benzaldehyde, decyl aldehyde, etc. He studied in detail the separation and
properties of numerous plant extracts, among them, rhodinol, rhodinal, lemon grass, lemonals, citronellol, etc. The oxime of citronellal, a stable aldehyde, acted by acetic anhydride, yielded the corresponding nitrile. Bouveault and Gourmand carried the total synthesis of rhodinol.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-259
Number of pages18
JournalRevista CENIC. Ciencias Quimicas
Issue number2
StatePublished - 11 Oct 2021


  • aldehydes
  • Bouveault
  • aldehyde synthesis
  • synthesis
  • ethyl cyanide
  • Beta-ketone
  • nitriles
  • nitrile saponification
  • plant extracts
  • alcohols


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