Retro-Aldol Reaction

Both aldol reaction and aldol condensation are overall reversible.  Consequently, if an aldol, the product of aldol reaction, or an α, β-unsaturated aldehyde or α, β-unsaturated ketone, the product of aldol condensation, is treated with an acid or base catalyst in aqueous medium, the reverse reaction occurs, which is known as retro-aldol reaction.

The mechanism of retro-aldol reaction is the reverse of the corresponding aldol reaction or aldol condensation.

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