All the material incorporated in this thesis has a common theme, in that it is concerned with the elucidation f the chemical mechanism by which non -conjugated olefins eact with molecular oxygen. The constituent investigations re of two general types. On the one hand, since the xidation mechanism is of the chain type, it is possible to 'rig changes on the mode of chain initiation and chain ermination, in such a way as to provide a set of closely elated chemical systems, which by exhibiting significant ifferences in kinetic behaviour build up a well - substantiated picture of the general oxidation mechanism. his work was carried out almost exclusively in the pecially favourable case of ethyl linoleate, and is escribed in Sections 3 -7.
In the second place, the elementary chemical processes hich go to make up this mechanism may depend markedly on he detailed chemical structure of the olefin concerned. ections 10 -12 form part of a systematic investigation of his aspect of autoxidation. One class of olefins - the olyisoprenes - has been studied in rather greater detail: ections 8 and 9 describe complementary investigations of he oxidation kinetics and of the nature of the primary
oxidation product as indicated by organo- analytical methods.
No attempt will be made here to relate in detail the various sections one to another, or to present the general context of published work into Which they may be fitted: it is hoped that this requirement is adequately met by Section 2. Marginal references have been inserted in this latter section, to facilitate reference to the appropriate parts f the thesis.
Section 13 consists of a short communication which ummarises the results of an investigation into the 'nteraction of molecular oxygen and alcohols. It has been 'ncluded in this thesis since it emphasises the respects in rhich another major class of substrate conforms to and iverges from the oxidative behaviour of the olefins.