Nickel Carbonyl: Decomposition in Air and Related Kinetic Studies

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Science  30 May 1980:
Vol. 208, Issue 4447, pp. 1029-1031
DOI: 10.1126/science.208.4447.1029


Nickel carbonyl [Ni(CO)4] is a toxic gas used in the manufacture of metallic nickel which has been shown to be carcinogenic and teratogenic in laboratory studies. Its decomposition in air proceeds at a rate that is strongly dependent on the concentration of carbon monoxide (CO). In the absence of CO, the lifetime in air at 296°K and at atmospheric pressure is 60 ± 5 seconds. A mechanism consisting of equilibrium unimolecular decomposition to Ni(CO)3 and CO, followed by reaction of the Ni(CO)3 with molecular oxygen, is consistent with the observations.