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Kinetic Studies of the Thermal Decomposition of 2-Chloroethylphosphonic Acid in Aqueous Solution

  • Eric Biddle
  • Douglas G. S. Kerfoot
  • Yioe Hwa Kho
  • Kenneth E. Russell
Publication Date
Nov 01, 1976


The decomposition of 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid in aqueous solution has been studied at pH values from 6 to 9 and at temperatures in the 30 to 55 C range. The rate of decomposition is estimated from the rate of formation of ethylene. The rate is proportional to the concentration of the phosphonate dianion and is independent of the hydroxyl ion concentration. The rate constant at 40 C is 1.9 × 10−4 sec−1 and the activation energy is 29.8 kcal mol−1. The rate of reaction is not affected significantly by the presence of potassium iodide or urea (substances which increase the rate of leaf abscission in trees sprayed by 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid). The rate decreases slightly in the presence of low concentrations of magnesium and calcium ions.

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