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The thermal degradation of a series of 1,1,2,2-tetraaryl-1,2-ethanediols has been examined using thermogravimetry (TG) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). These compounds are smoothly converted to the corresponding diaryl ketone and diaryl carbinol, i.e., the compounds undergo disproportionation arising from homolytic cleavage of the central carbon–carbon bond. Presumably, cleavage of the carbon–carbon bond generates a radical pair which disproportionates to provide the observed products.

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