Uncatalyzed reactions in the classical Belousov-Zhabotinsky system. I. Reactions of bromomalonic acid with acidic bromate and with HOBr

Lavinia Onel, Gelu Bourceanu, Mária Wittmann, Zoltán Noszticzius

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The uncatalyzed reactions of bromomalonic acid (BrMA) with acidic bromate and with hypobromous acid were studied in 1 M sulfuric acid, a usual medium for the oscillatory Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction, by following the rate of the carbon dioxide evolution associated with these reactions. In addition, the decarboxylation rate of dibromomalonic acid (Br2MA) was also measured to determine the first-order rate constant of its decomposition (4.65 × 10-15 s-1 in l M H2SO4). The dependence of that rate constant on the hydrogen ion concentration suggests a carbocation formation. A slow oligomerization of BrMA observed in sulfuric acid solutions is also rationalized as a carbocationic process. The initial rate of the BrMA-BrO3 - reaction is a bilinear function of the BrMA and BrO3 - concentrations with a second-order rate constant of 3.8 × 10-4 M-1 s-1. When a great excess of BrO3 - is applied, then BrMA is oxidized mostly to CO2. A reaction scheme compatible with the experimental finding is also given. On the other hand, when less BrO3 - and more organic substrate - BrMA or malonic acid (MA) - is applied, then addition reactions of various carbocations with the enol form of the organic substrates should be taken into account in later stages of the reaction. It was discovered that HOBr, which brominates BrMA to Br2MA when BrMA is in excess, can also oxidize BrMA when HOBr is in excess. As Br2MA does not react with HOBr, it is assumed that the acyl hypobromite, formed in the first step of the HOBr and BrMA reaction, can react with an additional HOBr to give oxidation products. It was found that the initial rate of the reaction can be described by the following experimental rate law: kBHOB[BrMA] 0[HOBr]0 2, where ABHOB = 5 M-2 s-1. A reaction scheme for the oxidation of BrMA by HOBr is given for conditions where HOBr is in excess. Model calculations illustrate qualitatively that the suggested reaction schemes are able to mimic the experiments. (More quantitative simulations are prevented by kinetic data missing for the various carbocation intermediates.) Finally, the effects of these newly observed reactions on oscillatory BZ systems are discussed briefly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10314-10322
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - Nov 17 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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