Why are decomposition reactions

Decomposition reactions


Unstable substances

Many organic compounds are thermally unstable. If such a substance is heated to a temperature above the stability limit, self-accelerating, exothermic decomposition begins. It can always be critical if you do not adhere to the temperature specifications in the regulation and if you greatly reduce the liquid content of a flask by distillation.

A known problem is the thermally induced decomposition of peroxides, especially when they accumulate in sump flasks during distillations. As part of your test preparation, always check whether your chemicals are peroxide sensitive. If so, you need to make sure that your reaction solution is truly peroxide-free: test your chemicals for the presence of peroxides just before using them and / or remove the peroxides before using your chemicals.

If you have used hydrogen peroxide, solid peroxides, peracids, ozone or molecular oxygen in a synthesis, you should always assume that peroxides have also formed or are still present in the reaction mixture. Therefore test the mixture for the content of peroxides before processing and destroy them quantitatively.

safety instructions

If, when the reaction or distillation flask is heated, it suddenly begins to foam heavily in it, extreme caution is advised: it could mean the start of a thermal decomposition reaction! Remove the heat source, warn people in the area, and leave the area.