Radical Disproportionation

This reaction involves collision of the radicals, resulting in the abstraction of an atom, usually hydrogen, by one radical from the other. This leads to the formation of two stable molecules, with the atom abstracted being p to the radical center, for example, the disproportionation of two phenylethyl radicals to give styrene and ethyl benzene. The disproportionation reaction derives its driving force from the formation of two new strong bonds and from the fact that the p-CH bonds in radicals are usually weak. The ratio of disproportionation to combination is dependent on the structural features of the radicals involved and may be affected, for example, by solvent, pressure, and temperature (reviewed in Gibian and Corley, 1993).

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