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  • The Horner–Wadsworth–Emmons reaction is a chemical reaction used in organic chemistry of stabilized phosphonate carbanions with aldehydes to produce predominantly E-alkenes. In 1958, Leopold Horner published a modified Wittig reaction using phosphonate-stabilized carbanions. William S. Wadsworth and William D. Emmons further defined the reaction. In contrast to phosphonium ylides used in the Wittig reaction, phosphonate-stabilized carbanions are more nucleophilic but less basic. Likewise, phosphonate-stabilized carbanions can be alkylated. Unlike phosphonium ylides, the dialkylphosphate salt byproduct is easily removed by aqueous extraction. Several reviews have been published.