Reactive sulfur species: kinetics and mechanism of the oxidation of aryl sulfinates with hypochlorous acid

J Phys Chem A. 2010 Feb 4;114(4):1670-6. doi: 10.1021/jp906651n.


The mechanism of oxidation of ArSO(2)(-) (PhSO(2)(-) and 5-sulfinato-2-nitrobenzoic acid = TNBO(2)(1-/2-)) with HOCl/OCl(-) has been investigated using the kinetic method. In contrast to previous reports for PhSO(2)(-) (for which it was suggested that OCl(-) and not HOCl was the reactant), the reaction proceeds through a conventional pathway: nucleophilic attack by ArSO(2)(-) on HOCl with concomitant Cl(+) transfer to give a sulfonyl chloride intermediate (ArSO(2)Cl), which we have identified spectrophotometrically. Remarkably, the rate constant for the reaction of HOCl with ArSO(2)(-) is on the order of 10(9) M(-1) s(-1), larger than the rate constants for corresponding thiolates, and is nearly diffusion-controlled. In contrast, the rate constant for the reaction of OCl(-) with ArSO(2)(-) is approximately 7 orders of magnitude smaller.