Why are ketones less reactive in aldol condensation? How can aldol condensation of acetone by manipulating to obtain a good yield?
Ketones are less reactive in aldol condensations because the carbonyl group is more sterically hindered in comparison to aldehydes. This makes a nucleophilic attack less likely, and the nucleophile attacks the alpha hydrogens of the ketone, which in turn creates a new nucleophile that attacks the reagent that is less hindered. Using an excess of the less hindered reagent will drive the reaction forward and lead to a reasonable yield of product.