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In the presence of phosphorus, aliphatic carboxylic acids react smoothly with chlorine or bromine to yield a compound in which α-hydrogen has been replaced by halogen such reaction is know as Hell-Volhard-Zelinsky Reaction
The function of the phosphorus is ultimately to convert a little of the acid into acid halide so it is the acid halide, not the acid itself, that undergoes this reaction.
The halogen of these halogenated acids undergoes nucleophilic displacement and elimination much as it does in the simple alkyl halides. Halogenation is therefore the first step in the conversion of a carboxylic acid into many important substituted carboxylic acid.
List of Name Reaction of Organic Chemistry consist of detail Reaction Mechanism of all name reactions of Organic Chemistry.