Skip to main content
Chemistry LibreTexts

Photochemical Bromination of an Alkane

  • Page ID
    3022
  •  

    Chemical Concepts Demonstrated

    • Light-catalyzed reactions
    • Thermolytic and photolytic reactions
    • Free-radical reactions
    • Reactivity of alkanes

    Demonstration

    • The two crystallizing dishes contain pentane and pentene and are placed on the overhead projector.
    • Bromine in dichloromethane is added to both of the dishes.
    photo.gif

    Observations

    The pentene changes to colorless very quickly.  The pentane changes after exposure to the overhead's light.

    Explanation (including important chemical equations)

    The light-catalyzed reaction between an alkane and bromine can be stated as follows:

    Chain initiation:       Br+ hv --> 2 Br.

    Chain propogation:  Br+ R-H --> R-Br + H.

                                  H+ Br--> H-Br + Br.

    Chain termination:    2 Br--> Br2

                                  2 H--> H2

                                  H+ Br--> HBr

    Contributors