Low-Temperature Trapping of Intermediates in the Reaction of NO• with O2

  • Leila Mahmoudi, Reinhard Kissner, Willem H. Koppenol
  • Inorganic Chemistry, April 2017, American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.6b02947

Autoxidation of NO

What is it about?

The autoxidation of NO requires two NO and one O2 to form two NO2. As a reaction between three molecules at the same time is unlikely, two NO can form (NO)2 that reacts with O2, or NO reacts with O2 to form ONOO. This question has been debated for a century. By carrying out the reaction at a very low temperatures, we observed, as before, a red intermediate and at even lower temperatures a yellow intermediate. Together with ESR evidence, we concluded that NO reacts first with O2.

Why is it important?

The findings have implications for the fate of NO in biology, and may be relevant to the production of nitrogen oxides in diesel engines.


Professor Willem H. Koppenol
Swiss Federal Insitute of Technology (ETH)

We are happy that an old and important problem is now solved.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Willem H. Koppenol