Gas-phase disproportionation of nitric oxide at elevated pressures

Hirokazu Tsukahara, Takanobu Ishida, Yukiko Todoroki, Masahiro Hiraoka, Mitsufumi Mayumi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


T.P. Melia's chemical kinetics study of the disproportionation of nitric oxide (NO), 3NO → NO2 + N2O, (Melia, T.P. (1965) J. Inorg. Nucl. Chem., 27, 95-98), which is the most quoted quantitative investigation presently available, revealed a rather strong dependence of the effective rate constant, Kk', of Melia's third-order rate law,-d[NO]/dt = Kk'[NO]3, on the initial pressure of NO. In order to estimate extent of accumulation of NO2 and N2O as a function of time by integration of the rate law, we have evaluated the dependence of the effective rate constant as a function of pressure and thus as a function of time on the basis of the non-ideality of NO gas. Although our approach is crude in that the non-idealities of NO2 and N2O and other NOx products and a probable deviation of the gas mixture from the Dalton's law have not been considered, it provides a means for approximately estimating the rate of accumulation of NO2 and N2O based on Melia's data. According to these calculations, the extent of the disproportionation is generally negligible at low initial pressures, e.g. 5 atm or less, while at 200 atm, the mole fractions of NO2 and N2O can become as high as 12-13% only after 10 days. These values are alarmingly high for handling pressured NO- in N2-mixture in either research or clinical settings. This information must be borne in mind when compressed NO in commercial cylinders is employed in high precision experiments. Disproportionation of NO under pressure also deserves attention in inhalation of low doses of NO in the treatment of diseases characterized by pulmonary hypertension and hypoxemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-177
Number of pages7
JournalFree Radical Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemical kinetics
  • Disproportionation
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitrogen dioxide
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Rate constant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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