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Pure Appl. Chem., 1996, Vol. 68, No. 9, pp. 1683-1687

Chlorine - An Introduction

George Porter

Chairman, Centre for Photomolecular Sciences, Imperial College of Science Technology and Medecine, London SW7 2AY, UK

Abstract: Chlorine, in the form of its salts, has been known since the earliest days of recorded history, although its recognition as an element did not occur until the beginning of the nineteenth century when its very high reactivity as an oxidant was found remarkable after it was shown not to contain any oxygen. Its absorption by sunlight made it a key substance in the early development of photochemistry. One example of this, with both pure and applied aspects, is described in more detail. The free radical chloric oxide played an important role in the development of the technique of flash photolysis and twenty five years later these researches were of essential importance in showing how chlorine and its oxides were involved in the destruction of the ozone layer by the chlorofluorocarbons.