Role of Formaldehyde in the Oxidation of Ethylene

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AT temperatures above 300° C. the reaction of oxygen with methane or ethylene shows the induction period and exponential development of the reaction rate with time, which are two of the characteristics of chain reactions that proceed by degenerate branching, that is, reactions in which the chains are initiated by the subsequent reaction of a fairly stable intermediate produced in the primary reaction process. To substantiate this hypothesis, it is clearly important to discover the nature of the intermediate by which the chains characteristic of degenerate branching are initiated.

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  1. 1

    Norrish and Foord, Proc. Roy. Soc., A, 157, 503 (1936).

  2. 2

    Axford and Norrish, Proc. Roy. Soc., A, 192, 518 (1948).

  3. 3

    (a) Norrish, Com. to the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, 1948 (in course of publication). (b) Harding and Norrish, "Oxidation of Ethylene" (in course of publication).

  4. 4

    Data from Bichowsky and Rossini, "Thermochemistry of Chemical Substances" (Reinhold Publishing Corporation, New York, 1936).

  5. 5

    Bray, J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 60, 82 (1938).

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HARDING, A., NORRISH, R. Role of Formaldehyde in the Oxidation of Ethylene . Nature 163, 797 (1949) doi:10.1038/163797a0

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