Radical Chlorination and Bromination Reactions – Research Paper Example

The paper "Radical Chlorination and Bromination Reactions" is an excellent example of a research paper on chemistry. Radical chlorination and bromination reactions are chemical reactions that involve alkanes where the saturated hydrocarbons react with halogen within a given mechanism with the replacement of the hydrogen with a halogen. Notably, the reaction involves the free halogen radical or either chlorine or bromine and when such replaces hydrogen from an alkane, halogenoalkanes are formed and are sometimes referred to alkyl halide or the haloalkanes. Notably, alkanes are known to be saturated hydrogen; thus, they tend to be stable; hence, they are highly unreactive (Carey, 2007). This means that they will require energy to initiate these reactions. In most cases, the reactions involving alkanes usually take place under catalyst and high temperatures; however, for chlorination, the reaction is usually facilitated by UV light that initiates the free radical reactions. It is worth noting the amount of energy required to initiate the free radical reaction in halogen usually depends on the position of the reacting halogen within the reactivity series. Bromine is usually very reactive compared to chlorine; therefore, it is expected that chlorination to require more energy to initiate its free radical reaction as the energy that could be required for bromination. The bromination and chlorination reactions follow the process indicated below (Carey, 2007): 
1. Ethane + Bromine = bromoethane + hydrogen bromide
+ Br2 = + HBr
2. Ethane + Chlorine = chloroethane + hydrogen chloride
+ Cl2 ==> + HCl
It is worth noting that in the reactions above neither bromine nor chlorine can react in a gaseous state but they must react in aqueous form. Other reactions of halogen with alkanes are possible but under different chemical conditions (Carey, 2007).