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Alkyl halides left in an open container what happens?

  1. Sep 20, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A student left some alkyl halides (RCI and RBr) in an open container for several hours. What happened to the composition of the halide mixture during that time? Assume that some liquid remains in the container.

    2. Relevant equations

    From: http://www.ipfw.edu/chem/254/254 Fall 05/CHM 254 Experiment 24.htm The experiment had to do with measuring the nucleophilicity of different nucleophiles.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I've thought about this problem a number of ways but can't seem to make much progress. At first I thought the halides might be volatile and evaporate into the vapor. That seems right given the hint--but that doesn't tell me what would happen to the composition of the halide mixture other than that the more volatile one would evaporate further.

    I've also pondered the idea that water vapor from the air might go into the mixture and cause some kind of reaction although I think that would be a bit much to assume.

    Any ideas?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2008 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    If one evaporates more easily, mixture becomes richer in the other one. I don't think you can say anything more.
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