Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 275–291 | Cite as

Laboratory measurements of the 12C/13C kinetic isotope effects in the gas-phase reactions of unsaturated hydrocarbons with Cl atoms at 298 ± 3 K

  • Rebecca S. Anderson
  • Lin Huang
  • Richard Iannone
  • Jochen Rudolph


The carbon kinetic isotope effects (KIEs) in the reactions of several unsaturated hydrocarbons with chlorine atoms were measured at room temperature and ambient pressure using gas chromatography combustion isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GCC-IRMS). All measured KIEs, defined as the ratio of the rate constants for the unlabeled and labeled hydrocarbon reaction k 12/k 13, are greater than unity or normal KIEs. The KIEs, reported in per mil according to Cl ɛ = (k 12/k 13−1) × 1000‰ with the number of experimental determinations in parenthesis, are as follows: ethene, 5.65 ± 0.34 (1); propene, 5.56 ± 0.18 (2); 1-butene, 5.93 ± 1.16 (1); 1-pentene, 4.86 ± 0.63 (1); cyclopentene, 3.75 ± 0.14 (1); toluene, 2.89 ± 0.31 (2); ethylbenzene, 2.17 ± 0.17 (2); o-xylene, 1.85 ± 0.54 (2). To our knowledge, these are the first reported KIE measurements for reactions of unsaturated NMHC with Cl atoms. Relative rate constants were determined concurrently to the KIE measurements. For the reactions of cyclopentene and ethylbenzene with Cl atoms, no rate constant has been reported in refereed literature. Our measured rate constants are: cyclopentene (7.32 ± 0.88) relative to propene (2.68 ± 0.32); ethylbenzene (1.15 ± 0.04) relative to o-xylene (1.35 ± 0.21), all × 10−10 cm3 molecule−1 s−1. The KIEs in reactions of aromatic hydrocarbons with Cl atoms are similar to previously reported KIEs in Cl-reactions of alkanes with the same numbers of carbon atoms. Unlike the KIEs for previously studied gas-phase hydrocarbon reactions, the KIEs for alkene–Cl reactions do not exhibit a simple inverse dependence on carbon number. This can be explained by competing contributions of normal and inverse isotope effects of individual steps in the reaction mechanism. Implications for the symmetries of the transition state structures in these reactions and the potential relevance of Cl-atom reactions on stable carbon isotope ratios of atmospheric NMHC are discussed.

Key words

alkene aromatic chlorine atom KIE stable carbon isotopes symmetry transition state structure 



The authors sincerely thank D. Ernst and A. Chivulescu from the Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada for technical support and isotope standard preparation. This research was supported financially by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences (CFCAS).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca S. Anderson
    • 1
    • 3
  • Lin Huang
    • 2
  • Richard Iannone
    • 1
  • Jochen Rudolph
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry and Chemistry DepartmentYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Atmospheric Science and Technology DirectorateScience and Technology Branch, Environment CanadaTorontoCanada
  3. 3.National Center for Atmospheric ResearchBoulderUSA

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