On the Complexity of Kinetics and the Mechanism of the Thiosulfate–Periodate Reaction

The thiosulfate–periodate reaction has been studied spectrophotometrically in a slightly acidic medium at 25.0 ± 0.1 °C in an acetate/acetic acid buffer by monitoring the absorbance in the 250–600 nm wavelength range at a constant ionic strength adjusted by the buffer component sodium acetate. In agreement with a previous study, we found that the reaction cannot be described by a single stoichiometric equation, tetrathionate and sulfate are simultaneously formed, and its ratio strongly depends on the pH. As expected at certain initial concentration ratios of the reactants, the reaction behaves as a clock reaction, but after its appearance, iodine is slowly consumed mainly because of the moderate tetrathionate–iodine reaction. It is also enlightened that the initial rate of the reaction is completely independent of the pH, which apparently contradicts a previous study, which postulates a “supercatalytic” behavior of the hydrogen ion on the title reaction. Significant buffer assistance that may change the absorbance–time profiles was also observed. On the basis of the kinetic data, a robust 28-step kinetic model with 22 fitted parameters is proposed and discussed to explain adequately all of the important characteristics of the kinetic curves.