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J Chem Educ ; 94(9): 1285-1287, 2017 Sep 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28919644

RESUMO

The "exploding" flask demonstration presents a well-known illustration of heterogeneous catalyzed methanol oxidation. We find that for the same vapor pressure, the demonstration also works for all primary and secondary alcohols up to butanol but not for a tertiary alcohol. Also, we show that the demonstration works for a large range of transition metal catalysts. Hence, this demonstration, which is often applied for the repetitive explosions when methanol is used, may also be used to argue the requirement of initial dehydrogenation of the alcohol to an aldehyde in the catalytic reaction mechanism to support the general insensitivity to reactant molecules in heterogeneous catalysis in contrast to biological catalysis and to provide proof for activity trends as often depicted by volcano plots.

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