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The Theory Of Reactions Involving Proton Transfers


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The majority of reactions catalysed by acids or bases have been found to be catalysed not only by hydrogen ions (or hydroxyl ions), but by all molecular species which are acids or bases in the sense of modern definitions of these terms. In all such reactions which have been investigated quantitatively, the relative efficiencies of different catalysts have been found to conform to the following relation, due to Brönsted, k c = GK 1 x , (1) where k c is the catalytic constant of a given acid (or base), and K 1 is its electrolytic dissociation constant. G and x are constants for the same substrate at the same temperature. This relation holds accurately for a series of acids or bases of the same type ( e. g. , carboxylic acids, or amino bases), and roughly for different types. Equation (1) is essentially empirical, and it is the object of the present paper to provide it with some theoretical basis.