The halogens give ferrous and ferric haloids and carbon monoxide; hydrochloric and hydrobromic acids have no action, but hydriodic decomposes it.
It receives application in synthetic organic chemistry by virtue of its power to remove the halogen atoms from alkyl haloids, and so effect the combination of the two alkyl residues.
It converts alkyl haloids into alcohols.
The phosphorous haloids give the corresponding ethyl haloid.
Soc. chim., 1904 [31, 31, p.1306) prepares aldehydes by the gradual addition of disubstituted formamides (dissolved in anhydrous ether) to magnesium alkyl haloids, the best yields being obtained by the use of diethyl formamide.