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Journal of the Korean Chemical Society (JKCS)

ISSN 1017-2548(Print)
ISSN 2234-8530(Online)
Volume 58, Number 1
JKCSEZ 58(1)
February 20, 2014 

Spectral and Mechanistic Investigation of Oxidative Decarboxylation of Phenylsulfinylacetic Acid by Cr(VI)
Perumal Subramaniam*, Natesan Thamil Selvi, Soundarapandian Sugirtha Devi
Phenylsulfinylacetic acid, Oxidative decarboxylation, Nucleophilic attack of sulfur, Substituent effect
The oxidative decarboxylation of phenylsulfinylacetic acid (PSAA) by Cr(VI) in 20% acetonitrile - 80% water (v/v) medium follows overall second order kinetics, first order each with respect to [PSAA] and [Cr(VI)] at constant [H+] and ionic strength. The reaction is acid catalysed, the order with respect to [H+] is unity and the active oxidizing species is found to be HCrO3 +. The reaction mechanism involves the rate determining nucleophilic attack of sulfur atom of PSAA on chromium of HCrO3 + forming a sulfonium ion intermediate. The intermediate then undergoes α,β-cleavage leading to the liberation of CO2. The product of the reaction is found to be methyl phenyl sulfone. The operation of substituent effect shows that PSAA containing electron-releasing groups in the meta- and para-positions accelerate the reaction rate while electron withdrawing groups retard the rate. An excellent correlation is found to exist between log k2 and Hammett σ constants with a negative value of reaction constant. The ρ value decreases with increase in temperature evidencing the high reactivity and low selectivity in the case of substituted PSAAs.
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