Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

First Advisor

John E. McCormick

Second Advisor

Dimitrios P. Tassios

Third Advisor

Richard B. Trattner


Previous experiments at Newark College of Engineering have shown that a dielectric field can effect the rate of a chemical reaction. A theory was developed in this thesis to postulate how a dielectric field can increase the rate of a first order reaction whose rate determining step is an ionization. An experimental procedure was developed to measure the reaction rate constant of a tertiary alkyl halide with a solvent to test this theory. The solvolysis of tortbutyl bromide in aqueous ethanol (80%), aqueous dioxane (75%) and aqueous acetone (75%) solvent systems were the reactions selected for study. A total of 17 runs were carried out in a recycle reactor. A small increase was found in the reaction rate constant upon the application of the dielectric field using the aqueous ethanol (80%) solvent system. Small decreases in the reaction rate constants upon the application of the field were found using the other two solvent systems. All changes were too small to say with certainty that the dielectric field had any effect upon the reaction rate constants. Further experiments at higher field strengths are necessary to supplement the result of this thesis.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.