13.1 How do you account for the formation of ethane during chlorination of methane ?
Chlorination of methane is by free radical mechanism and it takes place in three steps-
First, homolytic cleavage of the bond as
Chlorine free radicals attack methane molecule and generate methyl-free radical as
This methyl radical reacts with other molecules of chlorine () and form methyl chloride and liberate chlorine free radicals.
Then chlorine free radical reacts with methyl chloride and this way propagation occurs.
Ethane will be produced as a final product in this step. When two methyl free radicals react with each other ethane will be formed.