Posts Tagged ‘lower energy saddle point’

The “unexpected” mechanism of peroxide decomposition.

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

A game chemists often play is to guess the mechanism for any given reaction. I thought I would give it a go for the decomposition of the tris-peroxide shown below. This reaction is known to (rapidly, very rapidly) result in the production of three molecules of propanone, one of ozone and a lot of entropy (but not heat).[1]



  1. F. Dubnikova, R. Kosloff, J. Almog, Y. Zeiri, R. Boese, H. Itzhaky, A. Alt, and E. Keinan, "Decomposition of Triacetone Triperoxide Is an Entropic Explosion", Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 127, pp. 1146-1159, 2005.