Malonic acid, as well as its esters, is characterized by the large number of condensation products it can form.
It is a most important synthetic reagent; with sodium or sodium ethylate it forms sodio-malonic ester, which reacts readily with alkyl halides, forming alkyl malonic esters, which are again capable of forming sodium derivatives, that by further treatment with alkyl halides yield the di-alkyl malonic esters.
Potassium bichromate oxidizes it to malonic acid; nitric acid oxidizes it to oxalic acid; and hydriodic acid reduces it to succinic acid.
Dibasic acids of the paraffin series of hydrocarbons have the general formula C n H 2 (000H) 2 "; malonic and succinic acids are important members.
Of foremost importance are the reactions termed the malonic acid and the aceto-acetic ester syntheses; these are discussed under their own headings.