Letter | Published:

The Slow Combustion of Methane and Ethane

Nature volume 128, pages 304305 (22 August 1931) | Download Citation



THE observations referred to by Prof. W. A. Bone in NATURE of Aug. 1 (p. 188) with regard to the source of alcohols in the combustion products of paraffin hydrocarbons were based on experimental evidence accumulated in Great Britain and other countries from the point of view of the peroxide mechanism of combustion; compare, for example, in the case of methane, the work of Wartenburg and Sieg,1 who concluded that methane first forms the moloxide CH4(O2). It is interesting to note that the earlier supporters of the peroxide theory of oxidation had discovered the presence of alcohols in the oxidation products of hydrocarbons, but it was considered that these alcohols had been derived directly from the peroxides or from the esters2 and not at all from a primary hydroxylation process.

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  1. 1.

    Ber. 53, 2192; 1920. A short bibliography of the subject of the oxidation of fuel vapours is given in R. and M. (Air Ministry), 1374; 1930.

  2. 2.

    , Ber., 53, 987; 1920: , Ber., 53, 1567; 1920.

  3. 3.

    and others, Engineering, R. and M. (Air Ministry), 1092; 1926.

  4. 4.

    , J.C.S., 872; 1928.

  5. 5.

    Comptes rendus, 19, 158; 1931. Ann. des Comb. Liquides, 5, 915; 1930.

  6. 6.

    , J. C. S., 872; 1928. , , and , Trans. Far. Soc., 24, 574; 1928. , Helvetica Chemica Acta, 13, 197; 1930.

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  1. Imperial College of Science, S.W.7.

    • E. MARDLES


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