March 30, 2017

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An structural isomer of bromobutane (C4H9Br) can be hydrolysed using aqueous sodium hydroxide to produce butanol. This can be represented by the following equation:

C4H9Br(l) + OH-(aq)  C4H9OH(l) + Br-(aq)
This reaction was investigated experimentally and the following results
were obtained:
Initial [bromobutane], mol dm-3 Initial [OH-], mol dm-3 Initial rate, mol dm-3s-1
A 0.01 0.01 4.3 x 10-4
B 0.01 0.02 8.6 x 10-4
C 0.02 0.02 1.7 x 10-3

(b) (i) Deduce the overall order of the reaction and write the rate equation for this reaction (ii) What is meant by the rate-limiting step of a reaction mechanism?
(iii) What can you say about the rate-limiting step for the above reaction?
(iv) Suggest which isomer of bromobutane is likely to react via this rate-limiting step. Explain your answer fully.

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