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Kinetics Study of Base Catalysed Diacetone
Alcohol Depolymerisation
David Hewett
Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys

The theory accompanying the depolymerisation of diacetone alcohol in the presence of hydroxide ions is explored, and a possible reaction mechanism is proposed.
The kinetic study of the reaction is carried out using a dilatometer, and the rate law
is found to represent a two reactant system in which the reaction is first order with
respect to both diacetone alcohol and hydroxide ions. Subsequent calculations of
the rate constant for a variety of temperatures and a resulting Arrhenius plot gave
the activation enthalpy to be 61.1 kJ mol 1 . Experimental limitations are considered, the implementation of materials, equipment and procedures is evaluated, and
experimental uncertainties are calculated.