sulfonation

[suhl-fuh-ney-shuhn]
noun Chemistry.
the process of attaching the sulfonic acid group, –SO 3 H, directly to carbon in an organic compound.

Origin:
1885–90; sulfonate + -ion

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

sulfonation

in chemistry, any of several methods by which sulfonic acids are prepared. Important sulfonation procedures include the reaction of aromatic hydrocarbons with sulfuric acid, sulfur trioxide, or chlorosulfuric acid; the reaction of organic halogen compounds with inorganic sulfites; and the oxidation of certain classes of organic sulfur compounds, particularly thiols or disulfides.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Sulfonation occurs only on the phenyl rings attached to ether and ketone groups.
All the containers were barrier surface treated with sulfonation.
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