By heating a mixture of the sodium salt of a carboxylic acid and soda-lime, alkanes can be obtained.
RCO2Na + NaOH(CaO) RH + Na2CO3
This process of eliminating CO2 from a carboxylic acid is known as decarboxylation. This reaction can be employed for decreasing the length of carbon chain i.e. to descend a homologous series. This decarboxylation reaction probably involves following mechanistic steps.
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