MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: What is the function of the acid in the polymerisation of kevlar?

Date: Mon Sep 4 02:42:10 2000
Posted By: Werner Sieber, Research Scientist, Pigment Division, Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corp.
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 967839258.Ch

Hi Christopher,

Your initial thoughts just slightly led you astray. It is not the carbonyl oxygen, but the hydroxyl group which is protonated. This transforms it into a good LEAVING GROUP,(H2O)+. The amine attacks at the carbonyl carbon, as you correctly state, liberating a proton in the process. The water vaporizes out of the equilibrium, thus driving the reaction to completion.

Best regards
Werner Sieber

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