Nucleophilic Addition: Explore the Grignard Reaction

Nucleophilic Addition
Time to complete course: 52 min.

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About Nucleophilic Addition: Explore the Grignard Reaction Virtual Lab Simulation

Addition reactions are one of the greatest tools in a medicinal chemists’ toolkit! In this simulation, you will learn the principles of the nucleophilic addition reaction and put your knowledge into practice by performing a Grignard reaction to synthesize a potential cancer drug candidate. You’ll have the chance to make a ground-breaking drug discovery!

Last-ditch drug discovery

Join scientists in a drug discovery team as they investigate one last hunch before the failing project is shut down. Students will get hands-on in exploring the nucleophilic addition reaction in a pharmaceutical research lab, and apply their knowledge to help synthesize a molecule with therapeutic potential. To transform the existing ketone into the target alcohol, students will develop their practical and theoretical knowledge of the Grignard reaction.

Nucleophilic addition – experiment and explore!

Interact with nucleophilic addition reaction components at a molecular level with our 3D reaction visualizer. Identify important reaction components before triggering the electron flow to carry out the reaction before your eyes! Get up close with the mechanistic principles of nucleophilic addition and better acquainted with molecular-level reactivity considerations.

You’ll also have the chance to give a Grignard reaction a go in a safe and instructive lab environment. Synthesize your moisture-sensitive Grignard reagent in situ before using it directly in a Grignard reaction to get one step closer to your target molecule. Prompts from Dr. One will remind you of the tricky practical aspects to remember for a successful Grignard reaction!

Pharmaceutical scale-up

To complete the simulation you’ll investigate factors you’ll need to consider in scaling up the Grignard reaction to an industrial scale if the drug is shown to be a ‘hit’. Will you be able to design a synthesis for an effective treatment for breast cancer?

Get Started Now

Assist scientists on a drug discovery project and learn how to use nucleophilic addition to transform organic molecules into life-saving drugs! Will you be able to synthesize a new pharmaceutical product using the Grignard reaction?

Techniques in Lab

  • Reflux technique
  • Air- and moisture-sensitive synthesis
  • Synthesis and use of Grignard reagents in-situ

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…

  • Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the nucleophilic addition reaction
  • Provide an overview and examples of nucleophilic addition to a carbonyl group
  • Draw correctly the mechanism for common nucleophilic addition reactions
  • Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the Grignard reaction
  • Describe the role of each reagent in the Grignard reaction
  • Explain the sensitivity of Grignard reaction conditions and be able to make procedural adjustments
  • Gain understanding and practical experience of essential laboratory techniques:
    • Reflux reactions
    • Air-sensitive synthesis
    • Generation and use of reagents in situ

Simulation Features

Length – 52 minutes
Languages – English

Examples of Related Standards


Chemistry related 1st year onwards


No direct alignment


No direct alignment


No direct alignment

Screenshots of Nucleophilic Addition: Explore the Grignard Reaction Virtual Lab Simulation


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