Kolbe electrolysis

Kolbe electrolysis

Kolbe electolysis or Kolbe reaction is an organic reaction named after Adolph Wilhelm Hermann Kolbe. [cite journal
title = Zersetzung der Valeriansäure durch den elektrischen Strom
author = Hermann Kolbe
journal = Annalen der Chemie und Pharmacie
year = 1848
volume = 64
issue = 3
pages = 339–341
doi = 10.1002/jlac.18480640346
] [cite journal
title = Untersuchungen über die Elektrolyse organischer Verbindungen
author = Hermann Kolbe
journal = Annalen der Chemie und Pharmacie
year = 1849
volume = 69
issue = 3
pages = 257–372
doi = 10.1002/jlac.18490690302
] The Kolbe reaction is formally a decarboxylative dimerisation and proceeds by a radical reaction mechanism. [cite journal
title = Electrode Kinetic Aspects of the Kolbe Reaction
author = A. K. Vijh, B. E. Conway
journal = Chem. Rev.
year = 1967
volume = 67
issue = 6
pages = 623–664
doi = 10.1021/cr60250a003
] Generally, the reaction can be observed as:

:2 RCOO → → R-R + 2 CO2

As an example, electrolysis of acetic acid yields ethane and carbon dioxide:

:CH3COOH → CH3COO → CH3COO· → CH3· + CO2 :2CH3· → CH3CH3

ee also

* Decarboxylation
* Electrosynthesis
* Kolbe-Schmitt reaction


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