Reactive oxygen species in the aerobic decomposition of sodium hydroxymethanesulfinate

Sergei V. Makarov, Claudius Mundoma, Serge A. Svarovsky, X. Shi, P. M. Gannett, Reuben H. Simoyi

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29 Scopus citations


Sodium hydroxymethanesulfinate, (HOCH2SO2Na, HMS) is relatively stable in aqueous alkaline environments, but rapidly decomposes in acidic medium to give a variety of products that include sulfur dioxide. A detailed kinetic and mechanistic study of the decomposition of HMS in slightly acidic medium has shown a process that produces dithionite, S2O2-4, which is preceded by an induction period which persists for as long as molecular oxygen is present in the reaction solution. The complete consumption of molecular oxygen is a prerequisite for the formation of S2O2-4. Among some of the intermediates detected in the decomposition of HMS is the sulfite radical, SO-3. Comparisons are made between the decomposition mechanisms of thiourea dioxide (aminoiminomethanesulfinic acid) and HMS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-296
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Ivanovo Academy of Chemistry and Technology for giving a leave of absence to S.V.M. S.V.M. is grateful to the Russian Foundation for Basic Research for financial support (Grant No. 98-03-32802). C.M. is grateful to Steve Leonard for helping with ESR experiments. This work was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (Grant No. CHE-9632592).


  • Aminoiminomethanesulfinic acid
  • Hydroxymethanesulfinate
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Sulfite radical ion
  • Sulfoxylate ion
  • Sulfur dioxide radical ion
  • Thioureas oxides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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