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.
It crystallizes in prisms which melt at 121° C. It yields addition compounds with aniline and naphthalene, and combines directly with potassium methylate, sodio-malonic ester and hydrocyanic ester.
Ethylidene succinic acid or isosuccinic acid, CH3 CH(C02H)2, is produced by the hydrolysis of a-cyanpropionic acid and by the action of methyl iodide on sodio-malonic ester.
CH2 CHz?CU; CO CH 3 CO CH2 from sodio-malonic ester and 0-unsaturated ketones or ketonic esters: /CH, CO (R02C)2CH2+ Ph CH :CH /CH:>; CH(C02R) C07 from aceto-acetic ester and esters of a$-unsaturated acids, followed by elimination of the carboxyl group: CH2 CR', CH 3 CO CH 2.
Acids may be prepared by the action of dihalogen paraffins on sodio-malonic ester, or sodio-aceto-acetic ester (W.