Rate and product studies in the solvolyses of methanesulfonic anhydride and a comparison with methanesulfonyl chloride solvolyses


  • Paper based on a presentation at the 18th International Conference on Physical Organic Chemistry, Warsaw, Poland, 20–25 August 2006.


The specific rates of solvolysis of methanesulfonic anhydride have been measured conductometrically at −10 °C in 41 solvents. Use of the extended Grunwald–Winstein equation, with the NT scale of solvent nucleophilicity and the YOTs scale of solvent ionizing power, leads to sensitivity to changes in solvent nucleophilicity (ℓ value) of 0.95 and a sensitivity to changes in solvent ionizing power (m value) of 0.61, with a multiple correlation coefficient (R) of 0.973. Product selectivity values (S) in binary hydroxylic solvents favor alcohol attack in EtOH–H2O (a value of 1.2 in 90% EtOH rising to 4.0 in 40% EtOH) and in MeOH–H2O (a value of 3.7 in 90% MeOH rising to 6.0 in 50% MeOH). In 2,2,2,-trifluoroethanol–H2O, the S values are much lower at about 0.1. Entropy of activation values are appreciably negative. Literature values for the specific rates of solvolysis of methanesulfonyl chloride have been extended to fluoroalcohol-containing solvents (titrimetric method) and, at 45.0 °C, for an overall 43 solvents values are obtained (using NT and YC1 scales) of 1.20 for ℓ and of 0.52 for m (R = 0.969). It is proposed that both substrates solvolyze by an SN2 pathway. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.