- Thursday, November 20, 1980
- The thermal decomposition of fluorinated esters
- Published at:International Journal of Chemical Kinetics, Volume 13 Issue 5, Pages 463 - 471
The kinetics of thermal decomposition of ethyl, isopropyl, and t-butyl trifluoroacetates have been studied in the gas phase. In each case initial decomposition follows the normal ester route to give an olefin and trifluoroacetic acid, and elimination of hydrogen fluoride does not occur. However, trifluoroacetic acid is thermally unstable at ethyl and isopropyl ester decomposition temperatures, and further products result, including those from the difluorocarbene produced by decomposing trifluoroacetic acid. Placing a CF3 group at an ester's carbon increases the polarity of its transition state and decreases its thermal stability. The activation energies of the ethyl and isopropyl esters are lowered by 3.8 and 4.7 kcal/mol compared to the corresponding acetates, and the primary decomposition kinetics, which are homogeneous and of the first order, are expressed by
-Methylation enhances the reactivity of the trifluoroacetates, and the t-butyl ester, the transition state for which is sufficiently polar for heterogeneous decomposition to occur, shows signs of thermal instability at room temperature. The equilibrium
was also investigated and gave H° = +13,580 cal/mol and S° = +31.07 gibbs/mol in the forward direction. The results obtained extend and support the known structure-rate correlations in the gas-phase elimination of esters.