02 June 2011

#SmilesC Answer 7

  • #SmilesC what is being prepared here? OCCSCCO>HCl.HCl>ClCCSCCCl
As can be seen from the diagram below, prepared by plugging the reaction into Daylight's Depict, the transformation is that of thiodigycol to mustard gas,
A depressing subject to choose for a #smilesC quiz. The compound was used in combat during world war I and more recently by Saddam Hussein. The latter subject is curious from the perspective of a chemist: someone called Frans Van Anraat was found guilty of supplying thiodiglycol to the Iraqi regime,
"Prosecutors accused Van Anraat of delivering more than 1,000 tonnes of thiodiglycol. It can be used to make mustard gas, which causes horrific burns to the lungs and eyes and is often fatal."
However, I always find it odd that the Iraqi regime would order thiodiglycol when it was on an International 'watch' list of chemical weapons precursors. If the Iraqis had the plant and equipment to convert thiodiglycol to mustard gas, why didn't they use this plant and equipment to prepare thiodiglycol from simpler, ie not on a watch list, precursors?

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