2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference


Hydroperoxidolysis of the Chemical Warfare Agent VX
Laura A. Kopff* and Kelly A. Daniel
Dr. Eric V. Patterson, Faculty Mentor

The chemical warfare agent VX, O-ethyl-S-[2-(diisopropylamino)ethyl] methylphosphonothiolate, is a potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitor and is persistent in the environment. Neutralization of VX comes from breaking the P-S bond, usually through nucleophilic attack at the phosphorus. Experimental data shows that in the nucleophilic attack of hydroxide only 87% of the VX is neutralized, leaving 13% highly toxic. However when hydroperoxide is used, complete neutralization occurs. In an effort to understand this important feature of the reactivity of VX, the potential energy surface for the hydroperoxidolysis of VX has been computed at the MP2/6-31+G(d)//MPW1K/MIDI! level of theory with corrections made for solvation effects. The results clarify why hydroxide yields two products yet hydroperoxide gives only one.



Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 45-3
Location: VH 1212
Time: 1:45 pm

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