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A Mechanistic Study of the 2-Thienylmethyl + HO2 Radical Recombination Reaction

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journal contribution
posted on 22.02.2016, 10:59 by Xinli Song, Carol A. Parish
Radical recombination reactions are important in the combustion of fuel oils. Shale oil contains alkylated heteroaromatic species, the simplest example of which is the 2-thienylmethyl radical. The ab initio potential energy surface for the reaction of the 2-thienylmethyl radical with the HO2 radical has been examined. Seventeen product channels corresponding to either addition/elimination or direct hydrogen abstraction have been characterized for the first time. Direct hydrogen abstract from HO2 proceeds via a weakly bound van der Waals complex, which leads to 2-methylthiophene, 2-methylene-2,3-dihydrothiophene, or 2-methylene-2,5-dihydrothiophene depending upon the 2-thienylmethyl radical reaction site. The addition pathway for the two radical reactants is barrierless with the formation of three adducts, as distinguished by HO2 reaction at three different sites on the 2-thienylmethyl radical. The addition is exothermic by 37–55 kcal mol–1 relative to the entrance channel, and these excess energies are available to promote further decomposition or rearrangement of the adducts, leading to nascent products such as H, OH, H2O, and CH2O. The reaction surfaces are characterized by relatively low barriers (most lower than 10 kcal mol–1). Upon the basis of a careful analysis of the overall barrier heights and reaction exothermicities, the formations of O2, OH, and H2O are likely to be important pathways in the radical recombination reactions of 2-thienylmethyl + HO2.