Organic Chemistry

Application Limits of the Ferrioxalate Actinometer

Dirk Ziegenbalg Ulm University


Evaluating the efficiency of newly designed photoreactors is crucial for systematic development and optimization of photochemical processes. A suitable tool is actinometry, prominently represented by the most widely studied and applied ferrioxalate system. However, such measurements show reproducible problems in the data consistency. This study scrutinizes these issues and approaches an experimental elucidation. An application limit for the ferrioxalate actinometer under intense irradiation was identified and experimentally validated. A drop of the quantum yield at high incident photon fluxes, generating high local concentrations of carboxyl radicals, leads to systematically wrong measurements. For reliable measurements with the ferrioxalate actinometry, a continuous operation mode or extensive mixing should be ensured.


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