At first I thought it was Reed's reaction but then I looked up the reaction and the reactant was actually $\ce{SO2Cl2}$ (sulfuryl chloride).

I couldn't find the product which would be produced when any alkane reacts with $\ce{SO2}$. Does it react and what would be the product?

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    $\begingroup$ AFAIK there is no reaction between SO2 and alkanes in the absence of other reagents $\endgroup$
    – Waylander
    Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 6:58
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    $\begingroup$ At what temperature? At room temp, likely nothing happens. At 1,000°C, likely there would be multiple products, as the molecules decompose and recombine. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 18:14
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    $\begingroup$ Electronically excited SO2 do reacts with alkanes: pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jpca.8b04643 $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 0:30
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    $\begingroup$ Methane is oxidized by SO2 at high T Other hydrocarbons might be also. ase.tufts.edu/nano-cel/publications/…. $\endgroup$
    – jimchmst
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 7:08

1 Answer 1


Alkanes can react with $\ce{SO_2}$ if the reaction is photoinitiated via via a hydrogen abstraction to form $\ce{HOSO^.}$ and organic radical $\ce{(R^.)}$ species and that reactivity is correlated with the energy required to break a C–H bond and the length of the alkane chain. you can find references here

  • $\begingroup$ For future reference: for the body of questions, answers, and comments, chemistry.se offers to use mhchem as a comfortable method to add chemical equations. $\endgroup$
    – Buttonwood
    Commented Sep 8, 2023 at 13:45

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