Kutscheroff acetylene hydration

What is Kutscheroff acetylene hydration?

The acid-catalyzed hydration of alkynes into ketones was first reported by Fittig 1875. This reaction was subsequently expanded upon by Kutscheroff in 1881. In order to catalyze the reaction, dilute sulfuric acid H2SO4 and mercuric salt are typically used. Mercuric chloride HgCl2 can also form a complex with acetylene in aqueous solution.

Kutscheroff acetylene hydration - general reaction scheme
Kutscheroff acetylene hydration

This reaction has been employed in the preparation of ketones from higher alkynes, such as propyne, as well as vinylacetylene. It has also been utilized in the commercial production of acetaldehyde from acetylene. Methyl alkyl ketones have also been prepared using Kutscheroff acetylene hydration.