Reaction Pathways for Gas-Phase Hydrolysis of Formyl Compounds HXCO (X = H, F, and Cl)

Joseph S. Francisco, Ian H. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Formation and decomposition of the adduct species CHX(OH)2, where X = H, F, and Cl, have been studied by means of ab initio molecular orbital theory. Equilibrium geometries and transition structures have been fully optimized with 6-31G* and 6-311G** basis sets at the Hartree-Fock and second-order Møller-Plesset perturbation levels of theory. Heats of reaction and barrier heights have been computed with Møller-Plesset theory up to full fourth order using the 6-311++G** basis. Addition of H2O to HXCO yields CHX(OH)2 which then decomposes preferentially by 1,2-elimination of HX to give formic acid as a product. Other higher energy paths, including 1,2-elimination of H2 and the involvement of carbene species, are of negligible significance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3746-3751
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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