The radiolytic decarboxylation of members of the homologous series of normal aliphatic carboxylic acids was studied at -196° in order to investigate the effects of chain length and temperature on the carbon dioxide yields. A comparison with radiolytic data obtained at 38° (1) shows that the solid phase radiolysis of these compounds is temperature dependent. In contrast to the results from the irradiation of the same acids in the liquid state (2), the yields of carbon dioxide do not vary smoothly from member to member as the homologous series is ascended. Instead, a clearly defined alternation in the yields is evident for the acids above C10, with the odd-numbered acids having larger values of <tex-math>$G({\rm CO}_{2})$</tex-math>. Formic acid again deviates from the other homologs. The experimental relationship between chain length and decarboxylation yield for the liquid and solid phases is discussed in relation to a simple model.

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