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Which has more torsianal strain, butane or 2-methylbutane?

2-Methylbutane. It has two staggered conformer's with two Methyl group's adjacent to each other and one Methyl at a distance. The third staggered conformer has all three Methyl's adjacent to each other, and has the highest energy. Butane has only two Methyl groups to consider. There are two conformers with adjacent Methyl's, and one lowest energy conformer. the anti form.

Account for the shorter C-O length in an ester compared with an anhydride?

A degree of cross-conjugation exists in the anhydride; this competition for electrons decreases the delocalization to each carbonyl O and gives the C-O sigma bond less double bond character.

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