A possible candidate to be classified as an autocatalysis-driven clock reaction: Kinetics of the pentathionate-iodate reaction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


The pentathionate-iodate reaction has been investigated by spectrophotometrically monitoring the formation of the total amount of iodine at 468 nm in the presence of phosphoric acid/dihydrogen phosphate buffer. We noticed that iodine forms only after a fairly long time lag, and the inverse of time necessary to produce a certain amount of iodine is linearly proportional to the initial concentration of iodate ion and the square of the hydrogen ion concentration, while depending complexly on the concentration of substrate pentathionate. This reaction can therefore be treated as a clock reaction but differs from the original Landolt reaction in the sense that substrate pentathionate and the clock species iodine coexist for a relatively long time-due to their relatively slow direct reaction-depending on the experimental circumstances. Furthermore, we also provided experimental evidence that iodide ion acts as an autocatalyst of the system. A 14-step kinetic model is proposed in which the mechanisms of the pentathionate-iodine, bisulfite-iodate, and the well-known Dushman reactions are combined. A thorough analysis revealed that the direct pentathionate-iodate reaction plays a role only to produce iodide ions via a finite sequence of reactions, and once its concentration reaches a certain level, the reaction is almost exclusively governed by the pentathionate-iodine and the Dushman reactions. As expected, a strong catalytic effect of the buffer composition is also found that can readily be explained by its well-known catalytic influence on the original Dushman reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6171-6180
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - Aug 14 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

Cite this