Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol.365, 511-518, 2019
Mechanistic reaction model for oxidation of sulfur mustard simulant by a catalytic system of nitrate and tribromide
A new metal-free catalytic reaction system is developed to selectively oxidize 2-chloroethyl ethyl sulfide (CEES), a surrogate of sulfur mustard. The combination of two catalytic precursors, tribromide and nitrate, allows a rapid sulfoxidation of GEES even at ambient conditions. The kinetic behaviours at various reaction conditions are investigated to identify the most probable reaction pathways of the development of catalytic loop and the overall reaction steps of CEES sulfoxidation. The mechanistic study demonstrates that the catalytic loop does not require an addition of mineral acid or water, which is common in most other reaction systems. Incomplete catalytic systems with one precursor are also examined to uncover the complex network of sulfoxidation in the catalytic reaction system. The results reveal that the complex between CEES and bromine is a reactive intermediate, bromosulfonium, which can be further catalysed and converted into sulfoxide by nitrate. Based on the proposed reaction mechanism, a predictive kinetic model fully describing most reaction behaviours is developed.