Vilsmeier–Haack (VH) benzoylation reactions with benzaldehydes and acetophenones in acetonitrile medium obeyed second-order reaction kinetics. Under kinetic conditions, the reactions afforded benzoyl derivatives irrespective of the nature of oxychloride (POCl3 or SOCl2) used for the preparation of VH reagent along with benzamide. The present finding is advantageous to understand the nature of reactive species as well as the mechanism of benzoylation. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Chem Kinet 45: 69–80, 2013
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