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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)



First Advisor

Herschel Frye

First Committee Member

Emerson G. Cobb


The purpose of this research project is to investigate the base catalyzed reaction of propionic anhydride with n-propyl and isopropyl alcohols using a high frequency (120 megacycles) oscillometer to follow the course of the reaction as it proceeds.

The high frequency oscillometer has been used for many types of analytical determinations, and a review of the work up to 1957 is available in a publication by E. H. Sargent Company. The oscillometer has found application in titrations (Hall 1952), analysis of binary systems (Thomas, Faegin, and Wilson 1951) , static ternary systems (West, Robickaus, and Burkhalter 1951) , the study of complexes (Hara 1952 ) , and in the field of chromotography (Baumann and Blaedel 1956; Honda 1953, 1954) .

When conductance or dielectric constant changes during the course of a reaction, reaction rates can be studied. Since no electrodes are present, the possibility of electrode contamination, polarization, and an electrical influence on the reaction as it progresses is eliminated. Crystallization velocity and precipitation velocity studies have been made (Asada 1954; Duke, Bever, and Diehl 1949), a saponification reaction has been followed (Jensen, Watson, and Beekham 1951), and rates for the hydrolysis of lower aliphatic esters and esters of chloracetic acid have been measured (Elving 1954; Flom and Elving 1953).

The published kinetic -studies using this type instrument have been done in aqueous solution. The principle instrumental effect in these studies is conductometric, whereas the utilization of the binary solution method of analysis in this project is essentially capacitative in its instrumental effect.

A study of the base-catalyzed solvolysis of acetic anhydride in methanol -water mixtures has been made (Koskikallis 1959 ) using a method involving consecutive titrations. The rate of this reaction is too fast to be studied using this instrument; however, to date, kinetic studies have been made on the base catalyzed esteriflcation of acetic anhydride with ethyl alcohol (Lowery 1958) and isobutyl alcohol (Lewis 1959) using the high frequency oscillometer.



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