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Summary A comparative study of the non-isothermal decomposition of the dl-lactate hydrates of magnesium, calcium and strontium has been made with that of the dl-lactate hydrates chromium(III), manganese(II), iron(II), cobalt(II), nickel(II), copper(II) and zinc(II) keeping dry air as the purge gas and the heating rate maintained at 10 K min-1. While the dl-lactates of manganese(II), cobalt(II) and copper(II) followed single step decomposition scheme suggesting that dehydration and decomposition steps overlapped, the dehydration steps of the other compounds were distinct. &-T plots of none of the dehydration steps showed any induction period, indicating no physical desorption, nucleation or branching. Neither the & max-values nor the onset temperatures of the dehydration steps did show any pattern. The TG data of the dehydration steps have also been analyzed using the Freeman-Carroll, Horowitz-Metzger, Coats-Redfern, Zsakó, Fuoss-Salyer-Wilson and Karkhanavala-Dharwadkar methods. Values of order of reaction, activation energy and Arrhenius factor have been approximated and compared. There are similarities in the activation energy values for the dehydration steps (< 60 kJ mol-1 in general). It is higher with group 2 metals and lower in transition metals (maximum in magnesium and lowest in chromium and iron lactates). In cases of overlapping of dehydration and decomposition steps, the activation energy values are on the lower side with the same trend (lower in cobalt and copper cases).

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