Induced Photolysis of DDT

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Science  24 Jul 1970:
Vol. 169, Issue 3943, pp. 368-370
DOI: 10.1126/science.169.3943.368


Photolysis of mixtures of certain alkyl halides and aromatic amines produces dehalogenation of the halide. These reactions involve a photoinduced charge transfer from the amine to the halide. Photolysis of tritolylamine and carbon tetrachloride produces tritolylaminium chloride. Photolysis of 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane (DDT) and diethylaniline at 3100 angstroms yields 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (DDE), 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane (DDD), p,p'-dichlorobenzophenone (DDCO), and hydrogen chloride. Photolysis of DDT does not occur unless an inducer which has a low ionization potential, such as diethylaniline, is present. The DDT-diethylaniline mixture is stable in the dark, and the induced photolysis is not affected by triplet quenchers.

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