Organic Compounds containing Halogens  

What is Organic Compounds containing Halogens

“Things Work Out Best For Those Who Make The Best Of How Things Work Out” – John Wooden

Haloalkanes and haloarenes are the class of organic compounds in which one or more than one hydrogen atom is replaced by halogen atoms. Haloalkanes are those compounds in which halogen group is attached to an aliphatic chain and haloarenes are the compounds in which halogen group is attached to an aromatic ring. 

There are some various important applications of haloalkanes and haloarenes viz:

  • Some haloalkanes are used as synthetic intermediate compounds in labs.
  • They are used in fire extinguishers.

    Organic Compounds containing Halogens

  • The derivatives of these compounds are used for medicinal purposes.
  • Some naturally occurring haloalkanes act as protective agents against ocean attackers.
  • They are used as propellants.

There are some important halogen compounds which are very harmful to the environment such as CFCs and methyl bromide. Chlorofluorocarbons(CFCs) is used as a refrigerant in the refrigerations but this compound is majorly responsible for the ozone layer depletion in the atmosphere. Methyl bromide is also one such compound that has various harmful effects to the environment.

Notes for Organic compounds Containing Halogens

In this section, you will study about the important topics of the chapter, overview, physical properties, chemical reactions and some important tips and guidelines for the preparation of the chapter at the best.


Important Topics - Organic compounds Containing Halogens

  • Classification
  • Nomenclature
  • Physical Properties
  • Chemical Reactions
  • Polyhalogen compounds


Overview of the Chapter

Haloalkanes and haloarenes can be classified mainly on the basis of two aspects:

  • On the basis of the number of halogen atoms
    Halogens may be classified as mono, di or poly halogen compounds depending on the number of halogen compounds attached to the carbon compound.

halogen atoms

Monohaloalkane                     Dihaloalkane                         Trihaloalkane
Monohaloalkane, Dihaloalkane,¬†Trihaloalkane   


  • Halogen attached to sp3 or sp2 carbon
    (a) Alkyl Halide: In this class, the halogen atom is bonded to the sp3 hybridized carbon. These can further be classified into three categories as follows:

 Alkyl Halide

(b) Allylic Halides: In this class, the halogen atom is attached to the sp3 hybridised carbon which is attached to the carbon-carbon double bond.

Allylic Halides

(c) Benzylic halides: These are the halides in which the halogen atom is attached to sp3 hybridised carbon which is attached to an aromatic ring.

Benzylic halides

(d) Vinylic Halides: In this type of halide, the halogen atom is attached to sp2 carbon.

Vinylic Halides

(e) Aryl Halides: In this type of halide, the halogen atom is sp2 carbon atom of an aromatic ring.

 Aryl Halides


Physical properties

  • Melting and boiling point: The melting and boiling point of haloalkanes and haloarenes are determined by the intermolecular forces of attraction between them. The boiling point of alkyl halides follow this order:
    R-I > R-Br > R-Cl > R-F
    The boiling point is always determined by vander Waal forces. As the molecular size increases, the boiling point increases. For example, in the case given below:

Melting and boiling point
As branching increases in alkyl halides, then the boiling point decreases.


  • Density: The density increases as the size of the haloalkanes and haloarenes increases. It also increases with the increase of the atomic mass of halogen.


Preparation of Alkyl halides

  • Alkyl halides are prepared in many ways. The most common method to prepare alkyl halides is from alcohols. In this method, the alcohols are reacted with halogen acids, thionyl chloride or phosphorus halides, then the hydroxyl group is replaced with a halogen group.
     Preparation of Alkyl halides

Preparation of Alkyl halides

  • From alkene: Alkyl halide can be prepared from alkenes by reaction with hydrogen halides or Br2/hv.


There are other important methods are also available for the preparation of alkyl halides such as, by free radical halogenation and Sandmeyer's reaction.


Chemical Reactions

  • Reaction with NaCN, AgCN, NaNO2, AgNO2: In this reaction, the halide group is replaced by CN or NO2. If alkyl halide is reacting with NaNO2 then ONO replaces the halide group but if AgNO2 is reacting then NO2 replaces the halide group.
     Chemical Reactions
    Chemical Reactions
     Chemical Reactions


  • Finkelstein Reaction: This reaction is used for the preparation of alkyl halide from another alkyl halide. In this reaction, alkyl halide is treated with metal halide salt in the presence of acetone.

    Finkelstein Reaction

  • Substitution Reactions:
    Alkyl halides undergo substitution reactions either via SN1 mechanism or SN2 mechanism
    (a) SN1 reaction: This mechanism is favourable when the tertiary alkyl halide is present. This mechanism occurs in two steps viz, breaking of halide bond and then the formation of the carbocation. 

Substitution Reactions

(b) SN2 reaction: This reaction is favorable when the primary alkyl halide is present. In this mechanism, the breaking of halide bond and formation of carbon-OH bond both occur at the same time. Since this reaction mechanism is bimolecular thus it is known as the SN2 mechanism.

SN2 reaction 


  • Elimination reaction:
    This reaction occurs when the alkyl halide having β-hydrogen atom is reacting with alcoholic potassium hydroxide. An example of this reaction mechanism is given below. When there is a possibility of formation of more than one alkene, then the most stable alkene is the major product.

Elimination reaction


  • Friedel-Crafts reactions:
    These are those reactions in which an aromatic halide is treated with alkyl halide or acyl halide to attach substituents. These reactions are of two types i.e, alkylation and acylation. Both these reactions follow the electrophilic aromatic substitution mechanism. In both these reactions, the most stable product is the major product.
    (a) Friedel-Crafts alkylation: In this reaction, an aromatic halide reacts with an alkyl halide and form the product as given below in reaction. 

 Friedel-Crafts alkylation      

(b) Friedel-Crafts acylation: In this reaction, the aromatic halide reacts with an acyl group and form the product as given below.
Friedel-Crafts acylation  


How to Prepare for Hydrocarbons

  • This chapter is part of the organic chemistry and possesses a very high weightage of marks in boards exams and other competitive exams like JEE and NEET. It is completely theory-based. You are not supposed to memorize any formula but the reactions mechanisms and named reactions are very important.
  • For preparing this chapter, firstly, you must have a basic understanding of chapter - "Organic Chemistry- Some Basic Principles and Techniques". After this, you must read this chapter, "Haloalkanes and Haloarenes" from NCERT thoroughly with every concept grasp completely on your own.
  • Practice lots of examples related to this chapter because then you will be able to understand the most basic concepts related to whole organic chemistry.


Prescribed Books

For this chapter, first, the NCERT book is best for initial level preparation as well as for board exams. Now, after this, if you want to prepare for competitive exams like JEE and NEET, then these are the best books for you - Morrison and Boyd and R.K Gupta by Arihant publication. Meanwhile, in the preparation, you must continuously give the mock tests for the depth of knowledge. Our platform will help you to provide with the variety of questions for deeper knowledge with the help of videos, articles and mock tests.


Chemistry Chapter- wise Notes for Engineering and Medical Exams

Chapters No.

Chapters Name

Chapter 1

Some basic concepts in chemistry

Chapter 2

States of matter

Chapter 3

Atomic Structure

Chapter 4


Chapter 5

Chemical Thermodynamics

Chapter 6


Chapter 7

Redox Reaction and Electrochemistry

Chapter 8

Chemical kinetics

Chapter 9

Surface Chemistry

Chapter 10

General Principle and processes of Isolation of metals

Chapter 11

Classification of Elements and Periodic table

Chapter 12 


Chapter 13

p- block Elements

Chapter 14 

s-block Elements (Alkali and Alkaline Earth Metals)

Chapter 15 

Chemical Bonding and Molecular Structure

Chapter 16


Chapter 17

Coordination Compounds

Chapter  18 

Environmental Chemistry

Chapter 19

Purification and Characterisation of Organic Compounds

Chapter 20

Some Basic Principles of Organic Chemistry

Chapter 21


Chapter 23

Organic Compounds containing Oxygen

Chapter 24

Organic Compounds Containing Nitrogen

Chapter 25


Chapter 26


Chapter 27

Chemistry in Everyday Life

Chapter 28

Principles Related to Practical Chemistry

Topics from Organic Compounds containing Halogens

  • General methods of preparation, properties and reactions, Nature of C-X bond, Mechanisms of substitution reactions ( JEE Main, MET, GUJCET Pharmacy ) (135 concepts)
  • Uses: Environmental effects of chloroform, iodoform freons and DDT ( JEE Main, MET, GUJCET Pharmacy ) (10 concepts)

Important Books for Organic Compounds containing Halogens

  • Organic Compounds containing Halogens Book
  • Organic Compounds containing Halogens Book