A study of the kinetics of reaction of Fe(CO)3 and Fe(CO)3(L) with H2 and C2H4 for L = H2 and C2H4 by transient infrared spectroscopy: Reactions relevant to olefin hydrogenation kinetics

David M. Hayes*, Eric Weitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The reactions of Fe(CO)3 with ethylene and H2 have been studied and rate constants for the formation of the H2Fe(CO)3 and Fe(CO)3(ethylene) complexes have been obtained. Further reactions of these unsaturated products with ethylene and H2 respectively have been shown to lead to formation of the H2Fe(CO)3(ethylene) complex which is a crucial intermediate in the proposed mechanism for Fe(CO)3-induced hydrogenation of ethylene. The rate constants for formation of this complex from both precursors have been obtained and are reported along with the other rate constants determined in this study. Interestingly, though ethane is produced on a long time scale under the experimental conditions, H2Fe(CO)3(ethylene) is stable at room temperature in the approximately 100-μs observation time of these experiments. Significant differences have been observed for the rate constants of formation of the various complexes that were studied. These variations are discussed with respect to spin allowed versus disallowed reactions and the nature of the reacting ligand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2723-2727
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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