Decarboxylation is the removal of carbon dioxide from carboxylic acids.

R= alkyl, aryl

Decarboxylation of simple carboxylic acids requires very high temperatures, at which the organic product often decomposes.  In contrast, β-ketoacids undergo decarboxylation upon warming.


The molecule of a β-ketoacid is stabilized by an intramolecular hydrogen bond that creates a six-membered ring, allowing the reaction to occur via a relatively stable, six-membered cyclic transition state.

see also carboxylation

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