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Potassium tert-Butylate (865-47-4): A very important Versatile Reagent for Organic Synthesis

Potassium tert-Butylate (cas865-47-4)

Potassium tert-butylate (Kt-Bu)cas865-47-4 is an essential reagent widely used in organic synthesis due to its strong basicity and nucleophilicity. With the chemical formula KOC(CH3)3, it consists of a potassium cation (K+) and the tert-butylate anion (C(CH3)3O-). This blog post explores the properties, applications, and precautions associated with Potassium tert-butylate.

Properties: Potassium tert-butylate appears as a white crystalline solid and is highly soluble in polar solvents such as alcohols and ethers. It possesses a strong basic character, making it an excellent choice for deprotonation reactions. The tert-butylate anion is also a powerful nucleophile, capable of participating in various substitution and elimination reactions.


  1. Deprotonation Reactions: Potassium tert butylate(cas865-47-4) is frequently employed for deprotonating weak acids, such as alcohols, phenols, and carboxylic acids. This process forms alkoxide ions, which serve as excellent leaving groups or nucleophiles in subsequent reactions.
  2. Alkylations and Arylations: As a strong base, Kt-Bu facilitates alkylations and arylation reactions by abstracting acidic protons from substrates. This enables the formation of new carbon-carbon bonds and the introduction of alkyl or aryl groups onto different molecules.
  3. Elimination Reactions: Potassium tert butylate(cas865-47-4) promotes elimination reactions, such as the E2 mechanism, leading to the formation of alkenes. It can be used to remove a proton adjacent to a leaving group, resulting in the expulsion of the leaving group and the creation of a double bond.
  4. Preparation of Grignard Reagents: Kt-Bu is employed in the synthesis of Grignard reagents, which are versatile organometallic compounds used in various carbon-carbon bond-forming reactions. It reacts with alkyl or aryl halides to generate the corresponding magnesium alkoxide, which subsequently reacts with other electrophiles.

Precautions: While Potassium tert-butylate is a valuable reagent, it must be handled with caution due to its reactive nature:

  • It should be stored in a dry and air-free environment to prevent moisture absorption and degradation.
  • Proper personal protective equipment, including gloves and goggles, should be worn when handling Kt-Bu.
  • Careful handling is necessary as it reacts violently with water and can cause severe burns.
  • The compound should be stored away from strong acids, oxidizing agents, and other incompatible materials.
 Potassium tert-butylate(cas865-47-4)
Potassium tert butoxide Cas 865 47 4

Conclusion: Potassium tert-butylate (865-47-4) is a versatile reagent widely utilized in organic synthesis for deprotonation, alkylation, arylation, elimination, and Grignard reactions. Its strong basicity and nucleophilicity make it an indispensable tool for chemists working in various fields. However, proper precautions should be taken during handling due to its reactivity. Understanding the properties and applications of Potassium tert-butylate allows chemists to harness its potential for synthesizing complex organic molecules efficiently.

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