Molecular oxygen or, as it is correctly termed, dioxygen, is a potentially strong oxidizing agent with regard to the thermodynamics of the change to water. However, this change must generally occur in a sequence of one-electron steps and is kinetically unfavourable, in part owing to the adverse potential for the first electron transfer. A second factor which has been implicated is the restriction imposed by the requirement for ‘spin conservation’ in the overall electron transfer to the triplet dioxygen. Thus the dioxygen molecule is a metastable species in the presence of organic compounds, which is the essential condition in maintaining life in an atmosphere of oxygen.
KeywordsPulse Radiolysis Homogeneous Catalysis Peroxo Complex Dioxygen Molecule Benzene Acetic Acid
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