Exceptionally large oxygen effect in the belousov-zhabotinsky reaction

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Addition of HOBr can eliminate the induction period for oscillations in a Belousov-Zhabotinsky system, which just as Burger and Körös have previously shown is also accomplished by initial addition of bromomalonic acid. However, in a solution saturated with air, the initial addition of HOBr causes a train of only a few oscillations, and after less than 10 min, the system goes to a reduced steady state. If an identical system is prepared under an atmosphere of argon, oscillations will start immediately and will persist for over 16 h! This factor of over 100 in the duration of oscillations is larger than any other oxygen effect that we are aware of in such a system. An argument based on established reaction types can rationalize both this dramatic effect of air on the persistence of oscillations and also the unanticipated effect of oxygen to drive the system rapidly to a reduced steady state. © 1989 American Chemical Society.

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Journal of Physical Chemistry