Oxo iron(IV) as an oxidative active intermediate of p-chlorophenol in the Fenton reaction: a DFT study.

Abstract : Debate continues over which active species plays the role of oxidative agent during the Fenton reaction-the HO˙ radical or oxo iron [Fe(IV)O](2+). In this context, the present study investigates the oxidation of p-chlorophenol by [Fe(IV)O(H(2)O)(5)](2+) using DFT calculations, within gas-phase and micro-solvated models, in order to explore the possible role of oxo iron as a reactant. The results show that the chlorine atom substitution of p-chlorophenol by oxo iron is a highly stabilising step (ΔH = -83 kcal mol(-1)) with a free energy barrier of 5.8 kcal mol(-1) in the micro-solvated model. This illustrates the high oxidising power of the [Fe(IV)O(H(2)O)(5)](2+) complex. On the other hand, the breaking of the Fe-O bond, leading to the formation of hydroquinone, is observed to be the rate-determining step of the reaction. The rather large free energy barrier corresponding to this bond cleavage amounts to 10.2 and 9.3 kcal mol(-1) in the gas-phase and micro-solvated models, respectively. Elsewhere, the lifetime of the HO˙ radical has previously been shown to be extremely small. These facts, combined with observations of oxo iron under certain experimental conditions, suggest that oxo iron is a highly plausible oxidative species of the reaction. In addition, a trigonal bipyramidal iron complex, coordinated either by hydroxyl groups and/or by water molecules, has been found in all described mechanisms. This structure appears to be a stable intermediate; and to our knowledge, it has not been characterised by previous studies.
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Pierre Mignon, Marc Pera-Titus, Henry Chermette. Oxo iron(IV) as an oxidative active intermediate of p-chlorophenol in the Fenton reaction: a DFT study.. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2012, 14 (11), pp.3766-3774. ⟨10.1039/c2cp23231f⟩. ⟨hal-00877340⟩

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