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Lithium metal in contact with an organohalide lithiates the organic molecule and gives the organolithium reagent and lithium halide. Magnesium similarly metalates organohalides to give Grignard reagents.
Protons on a molecule that are acidic, even only slightly, can be exchanged for a metal by a suitable butyllithium reagent mixture.
Transmetalation involves the exchange of two metals between organic molecules. For example, transmetalations can occur when reacting an organolithium reagent with a metal salt.
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