Chain Reactions - Chain Reactions: A special type of...

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Chain Reactions: A special type of kinetic behavior occurs during chain reactions. Often there is a waiting period called an “induction period” and then suddenly the reaction will take off unexpectedly and can sometimes be startlingly even explosively fast. A good example, as discussed in class is H 2 and Cl 2 . A mixture of these two gases (H 2 is colorless but Cl 2 is yellow-green) can sit together and no sign of reaction appears. If the yellow-green Cl 2 absorbs light it can break the Cl-Cl bond to make to Cl radicals. This is shown in eqn. 1: light Cl-Cl → Cl + Cl initiation (1) What will the photo-generated radicals do—they are going to react with something that is for sure. If there is nothing around they will react with each other and recombine to make Cl 2 which is just the reverse of reaction (1): Cl + Cl → Cl-Cl termination (2) Another reaction that might occur is with Cl 2 itself—although this is really not a reaction at all (3): Cl
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Chain Reactions - Chain Reactions: A special type of...

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