The tendency of olefins to absorb molecular oxygen increases rapidly with increase in unsaturation. In monoolefins absorption is usually very slow unless it is actively promoted by irradiation, by the use of temperatures above room-temperature, or by chemical catalysts; in dienes and trienes it usually becomes considerable in diffused daylight; and in higher polyenes it tends to occur unpreventibly and excessively. The strong tendency towards oxidation shown by polyenes appears to be shared by unconjugated and conjugated substances alike, although the precise courses of reaction are probably somewhat different in the two cases. In the present paper attention is focussed mainly on monoolefinic and unconjugated polyolefinic substances.

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