World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000522069
Reproduction Date:

Title: Sulfonate  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: SN2 reaction, Suramin, Surfactant, Perfluorinated alkylated substances, Water reducer
Collection: Functional Groups, Leaving Groups, Sulfonates
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


The structure of a typical sulfonate ion.

A sulfonate is a salt or ester of a sulfonic acid. It contains the functional group R-SO3.


  • Sulfonate salts 1
  • Sulfonic esters 2
    • Sultones 2.1
  • Examples 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5

Sulfonate salts

Anions with the general formula RSO3 are called sulfonates. They are the conjugate bases of sulfonic acids with formula RSO2OH. As sulfonic acids tend to be strong acids, the corresponding sulfonates are weak bases. Due to the stability of sulfonate anions, the cations of sulfonate salts such as scandium triflate have application as Lewis acids.

A classic alkyl halides with sulfites such as sodium sulfite, first described by Adolph Strecker in 1868 (Strecker sulfite alkylation).[1] The general reaction is:

RX + M2SO3 → RSO3M + MX

Iodide is used as a catalyst.

Sulfonic esters

Esters with the general formula R1SO2OR2 are called sulfonic esters. Individual members of the category are named analogously to how ordinary carboxyl esters are named. For example, if the R2 group is a methyl group and the R1 group is a trifluoromethyl group, the resulting compound is methyl trifluoromethanesulfonate.

Sulfonic esters are used as reagents in organic synthesis, chiefly because the RSO3 group is a good leaving group, especially when R is electron-withdrawing. Methyl triflate, for example, is a strong methylating reagent.

Sulfonates are commonly used to confer water solubility to protein crosslinkers such as N-hydroxysulfosuccinimide (Sulfo-NHS), BS3, Sulfo-SMCC, etc.


Cyclic sulfonic esters are called sultones.[2] One example is 1,3-propane sultone. Some sultones are short-lived intermediates, used as strong alkylating agents to introduce a negatively charged sulfonate group. In the presence of water, they slowly hydrolyze to the hydroxy sulfonic acids. Sultone oximes are key intermediates in the synthesis of the anti-convulsant drug zonisamide.[3]


  • Mesylate (methanesulfonate), CH3SO3
  • Triflate (trifluoromethanesulfonate), CF3SO3
  • Esylate (ethanesulfonate), C2H5SO3
  • Besylate (benzenesulfonate), C6H5SO3
    • Tosylate (p-toluenesulfonate), CH3C6H4SO3

See also


  1. ^ Ueber eine neue Bildungsweise und die Constitution der Sulfosäuren Annalen der Chemie und Pharmacie Volume 148, Issue 1 , Pages 90 - 96 (p 90-96) 1868 doi:10.1002/jlac.18681480108
  2. ^ R. J. Cremlyn “An Introduction to Organosulfur Chemistry” John Wiley and Sons: Chichester (1996). ISBN 0 471 95512 4.
  3. ^ Mondal, Shovan (2012). "Recent Developments in the Synthesis and Application of Sultones". Chem. Rev 112: 5339–5355.  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.