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Thermochemical Factors Affecting the Dehalogenation of Aromatics

Sadowsky, D.; McNeill, K.; Cramer, C. J.
Environ. Sci. Technol. 2013, 47, 14194 (doi:10.1021/es404033y).

Halogenated aromatics are one of the largest chemical classes of environmental contaminants, and dehalogenation remains one of the most important processes by which these compounds are degraded and detoxified. The thermodynamic constraints of aromatic dehalogenation reactions are thus important for understanding the feasibility of such reactions and the redox conditions necessary for promoting them. Accordingly, the thermochemical properties of the (poly)fluoro-, (poly)chloro-, and (poly)bromobenzenes, including standard enthalpies of formation, bond dissociation enthalpies, free energies of reaction, and the redox potentials of Ar-X/Ar-H couples were investigated using a validated density functional protocol combined with continuum solvation calculations when appropriate. The results highlight the fact that fluorinated aromatics stand distinct from their chloro- and bromo- counterparts both in terms of their relative thermodynamic stability toward dehalogenation and how different substitution patterns give rise to relevant properties, such as bond strengths and reduction potentials.