Oxidation of isatins (isatin, 5-methylisatin, 5-bromoisatin and 5-nitroisatin) to their anthranilic acids was performed efficiently with sodium N-chlorobenzenesulfonamide or chloramine-B (CAB) in alkaline medium at 35±0.1°C. The reactions follow identical kinetics for all the isatins, being first-order dependence each in [CAB]o and [Isatin]o and inverse fractional-order on [NaOH]. Addition of halide ions and benzenesulfonamide, reduction product of CAB, do not significantly affect the rate. Variation of ionic strength of the medium had no effect on the rate, while the dielectric effect is negative. The solvent isotope effect was studied using D2O. Activation parameters for the overall reaction have been computed. The rates satisfactorily correlate with the Hammett σ relationship and the reaction constant ρ is −0.31 signifies that electron releasing groups accelerate the reaction while the electron withdrawing groups retard the rate. Values of ΔH≠ and ΔS≠ are linearly related and an isokinetic relationship is observed with β=376 K, indicating the reaction is controlled by enthalpy. The stoichiometry of the title reaction is found to be 1∶1. Oxidation products of isatins were identified as their corresponding anthranilic acids and the yields were found to be around 90 %. The observed results have been explained by a plausible mechanism and the related rate law deduced. This method offers several advantages including high yield of the products, short reaction times, easier isolation of products, and stable, cost effective and relatively non-toxic reagents, which make the reaction process simple and smooth.
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