American Chemical Society
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Mechanism and Rate Constants for the Decomposition of 1-Pentenyl Radicals

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journal contribution
posted on 2006-07-13, 00:00 authored by Wing Tsang
This paper is concerned with the mechanisms and rate constants for the decomposition of 1-penten-3-yl, 1-penten-4-yl, and 1-penten-5-yl radicals. They are formed from radical attack on 1-pentene, which is an important decomposition product of normal alkyl radicals with more than 6 carbon atoms in combustion systems. This work is based on related data in the literature. These involve rate constants for the reverse radical addition process under high-pressure conditions, chemical activation experiments, and more recent direct studies. The high-pressure rate constants are based on detailed balance. The energy transfer effects and the pressure dependences of the rate constants are determined through the solution of the master equation and are projected to cover combustion conditions. The low barriers to these reactions make it necessary to treat these thermal reactions as open systems, as in chemical activation studies. The multiple reaction channels make the nature of the pressure effects different from those usually described in standard texts. The order of stability is 1-penten-3-yl ≈ 1-penten-4-yl > 1-penten-5-yl and straddles those for the n-alkyl radicals. A key feature in these reactions is the effects traceable to allylic resonance. However, the 50 kJ/mol allylic resonance energy is not fully manifested. The important unsaturated products are 1,3-butadiene, the pentadienes, allyl radicals, and vinyl radicals. The results are compared with the recommendations in the literature, and significant differences are noted. Extensions to larger radicals with similar structures are discussed.