CHE 230

University of Kentucky

How to draw a free-radical chain mechanism

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Free-radical chain mechanisms follow their own rules. They consist of three parts: initiation, propagation, and termination. (I don't require you to draw termination steps.) Free-radical chain reactions, like all reactions, have stoichiometric starting materials and products, but free-radical chain reactions may also have separate initiators, which are often present in catalytic quantities.

Please note that memorizing these rules will not teach you how to draw free-radical chain mechanisms. The only way you will learn to draw free-radical chain mechanisms is by practice. However, if you follow these rules while you practice, you will quickly get the hang of drawing free-radical chain mechanisms.

Common errors in drawing free-radical chain mechanisms:

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