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  • 1 Jagiellonian University Isotope Laboratory (Laboratory of Nuclear Chemistry), Faculty of Chemistry Kraków (Poland)
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The13C kinetic isotope fractionation in the decarbonylation of lactic acid of natural isotopic composition by sulfuric acid has been studied in the temperature range of 20–80°C. The13C(1) isotope separation in the decarbonylation of lactic acid by concentrated sulfuric acid depends strongly on the temperature above 40°C. Below this temperature the13C isotope effect in the decarbonylation of lactic acid by concentrated sulfuric acid is normal similarly as has been found inthe decarbonylation of lactic [1-14C] acid. The experimental values of k(12C)/k(13C) ratios of isotopic rate constants for12C and13C are close to, but slightly higher than theoretical13C-kinetic isotope effects calculated (neglecting tunneling) under the asumption that the C(1)-OH bond is broken in the rate-controlling step of the dehydration reaction. Dilution of concentrated sulfuric acid with water up to 1.4 molar (H2O)/(H2SO4) ratio caused the increase of the13C isotope fractionation from 1.0273 found in concentrated sulfuric acid at 80.5°C to 1.0536±0.0008 (at 80.6°C). A discussion of the abnormally high temperature dependence of14C and13C isotope fractionation in this reaction and the discussion of the problem of relative14C/13C kinetic isotope effects is given.