|Department:||Dpartment of Chemistry.|
|Full text PDF:||http://digitool.library.mcgill.ca/thesisfile124256.pdf|
Benzoyl peroxide is still widely used in polymerization reactions and in other experiments where a source of free radicals is required. Quantitative interpretation of the results of these experiments requires that the mechanism of the decomposition of benzoyl peroxide be known with some precision. A review of the literature showed two main schools of thought on the mechanism of the decomposition of benzoyl peroxide. One of these proposes dissociation of the peroxide into two benzoate radicals with subsequent reaction of the radicals. The other involves direct reaction of the peroxide without prior dissociation. The proponents of the first line of thought disagree on the behaviour of the radicals. Some favour a chain reaction while others specify that the reaction of the radicals with the solvent is the rate controlling step. The problem is being investigated in an effort to determine the mode of reaction of the peroxide and the presence or absence of a chain mechanism.