It was found for the first time that the pyrogenetic transformations of heptane in molten aluminum and in molten sodium proceed in a selective manner which depends on the identity of the metal.
The extent of the thermal decomposition of heptane is increased by the use of aluminum: in thermal pyrolysis the conversion of heptane (57%) is less than the conversion in contact with aluminum (99%) by nearly one-half.
Sodium has a powerful retardant action on the thermal decomposition of heptane: the conversion of heptane in contact with sodium attains only 5–6% at 600–800°.
The gas obtained by the pyrolysis of heptane in molten aluminum contains 40–44% of olefins and 12.22% of hydrogen. On the other hand, the pyrolysis of heptane in molten sodium is accompanied by the formation of gas containing 75–85% of hydrogen without any appreciable amount of olefins.
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Topchiev, A.V., Paushkin, Y.M., Nepryakhina, A.V. et al. Reactions of hydrocarbons in metal melts. Russ Chem Bull 9, 1708–1713 (1960). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00906575