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Kinetics of the reduction of μ–oxo–tetrakis(1, 10–phenanthroline) diiron (iii) complex by thiourea in aqueous phenanthrolinium buffer

A Busari, S.O. Idris, A.D. Onu, I Abdulkadir


The homovalent oxo-bridged binuclear iron(III) complex ion [Fe2O(phen)4Cl2]4+ (phen = 1, 10–phenanthroline) aquates to [Fe2O(phen)4(H2O)2]4+ in aqueous phenanthrolinium buffer solution (pH 3.25–4.50). The reaction of [Fe2O2(phen)4(H2O)2]4+ with thiourea in this buffer solution to give [Fe(phen)3]2+, sulphite ion and urea was studied spectrophotometrically at 510 nm and found to be first order in [Fe2O2(phen)4(H2O)2]4+ and of mixed zero and first order in thiourea, i.e. reaction order with respect to thiourea varies from one to zero on increasing the thiourea concentration from 1.0–7.0 × 10-2 mol dm-3. The reaction is characterized by adduct formation. Changes in pH from 3.25 to 4.50 and ionic strength from 0.10 moldm-3 to 0.60 moldm-3 of the reaction solution were found to have no effect on the reaction rate. Catalysis and retardation were observed with the addition of Mg2+ and CH3COO- ions respectively. A plausible mechanism consistent with the results obtained is proposed.

Keywords: kinetics, mechanism, oxo-bridged, phenanthrolinium buffer, thiourea

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