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Beilstein J Org Chem. 2011;7:1732-8. doi: 10.3762/bjoc.7.203. Epub 2011 Dec 27.

Equilibrium constants and protonation site for N-methylbenzenesulfonamides.

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  • 1CIQA Centro de Investigação em Química do Algarve, Departamento de Química e Farmácia, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal.


The protonation equilibria of four substituted N-methylbenzenesulfonamides, X-MBS: X = 4-MeO (3a), 4-Me (3b), 4-Cl (3c) and 4-NO(2) (3d), in aqueous sulfuric acid were studied at 25 °C by UV-vis spectroscopy. As expected, the values for the acidity constants are highly dependent on the electron-donor character of the substituent (the pK(BH+) values are -3.5 ± 0.2, -4.2 ± 0.2, -5.2 ± 0.3 and -6.0 ± 0.3 for 3a, 3b, 3c and 3d, respectively). The solvation parameter m* is always higher than 0.5 and points to a decrease in the importance of solvation on the cation stabilization as the electron-donor character of the substituent increases. Hammett plots of the equilibrium constants showed a better correlation with the σ(+) substituent parameter than with σ, which indicates that the initial protonation site is the oxygen atom of the sulfonyl group.


N-methylbenzenesulfonamides; linear free-energy relationships; protonation equilibrium

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