The photolysis of acetophenone, benzophenone, 4-carboxybenzophenone and benzil was studied in air-saturated aqueous solution in the presence of alcohols. The overall reaction is an oxidation of 2-propanol to acetone. The quantum yield of oxygen uptake (Φ−O2) increases with increasing 2-propanol concentration up to 0.9. The photoreaction can also be initiated by quenching of the ketone triplet state by ascorbic acid, formate or an amine e.g. triethylamine. Subsequent reactions of the involved radicals with oxygen yield the superoxide radical and eventually hydrogen peroxide. For the ketones in the presence of 3–30 mM ascorbic acid or triethylamine Φ−O2 = 0.3–0.9. The specific properties of ketones, including 4-methoxyacetophenone and 2-acetonaphthone, the radicals involved and the pH and concentration dependences of Φ−O2 are discussed.
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Vol. 82 • No. 3