Alkenes can be prepared by heating quaternary pressure at a temperature between 100°C and 200°C ammonium hydroxide under reduced pressure.
This is the final step of the overall three step reaction called Hoffmann degradation. In the it step, primary, secondary on tertiary amine is treated with enough CH3I to convert it to the quarternary ammonium salt. In the second step, the iodide is converted into hydroxide by treatment with Ag2O.
The OH ion invariably removes proton from carbon atom. If two or more alkyl groups are present at -carbon atom, OH removes proton from that carbon atom which gives more stable carbanion. That means it tetra alkyl ammonium halide contains ethyl group as one of the alkyl groups then ethene will be the major product in this reaction. For example,
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