Is the chlorination of methane a free radical halogenation?
Yes, the chlorination of methane is a free radical reaction.
There are three major steps in the reaction.
Step 1. Initiation
The initiation step involves the homolytic cleavage of a
Step 2. Propagation
#"C"#atom removes an #"H"#from methane, producing #"HCl"#and a methyl radical.
- The newly-formed methyl radical abstracts a
#"Cl"#from a chlorine molecule, producing chloromethane and re-forming a #"Cl"#atom.
Step 3. Termination
In the termination steps, the radicals combine in all possible combinations.
The termination products are chlorine, chloromethane, and ethane.