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New Insights into Low-Temperature Oxidation of Propane from Synchrotron Photoionization Mass Spectrometry and Multiscale Informatics Modeling

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journal contribution
posted on 16.07.2015, 00:00 by Oliver Welz, Michael P. Burke, Ivan O. Antonov, C. Franklin Goldsmith, John D. Savee, David L. Osborn, Craig A. Taatjes, Stephen J. Klippenstein, Leonid Sheps
Low-temperature propane oxidation was studied at P = 4 Torr and T = 530, 600, and 670 K by time-resolved multiplexed photoionization mass spectrometry (MPIMS), which probes the reactants, intermediates, and products with isomeric selectivity using tunable synchrotron vacuum UV ionizing radiation. The oxidation is initiated by pulsed laser photolysis of oxalyl chloride, (COCl)2, at 248 nm, which rapidly generates a ∼1:1 mixture of 1-propyl (n-propyl) and 2-propyl (i-propyl) radicals via the fast Cl + propane reaction. At all three temperatures, the major stable product species is propene, formed in the propyl + O2 reactions by direct HO2 elimination from both n- and i-propyl peroxy radicals. The experimentally derived propene yields relative to the initial concentration of Cl atoms are (20 ± 4)% at 530 K, (55 ± 11)% at 600 K, and (86 ± 17)% at 670 K at a reaction time of 20 ms. The lower yield of propene at low temperature reflects substantial formation of propyl peroxy radicals, which do not completely decompose on the experimental time scale. In addition, C3H6O isomers methyloxirane, oxetane, acetone, and propanal are detected as minor products. Our measured yields of oxetane and methyloxirane, which are coproducts of OH radicals, suggest a revision of the OH formation pathways in models of low-temperature propane oxidation. The experimental results are modeled and interpreted using a multiscale informatics approach, presented in detail in a separate publication (Burke, M. P.; Goldsmith, C. F.; Klippenstein, S. J.; Welz, O.; Huang H.; Antonov I. O.; Savee J. D.; Osborn D. L.; Zádor, J.; Taatjes, C. A.; Sheps, L. Multiscale Informatics for Low-Temperature Propane Oxidation: Further Complexities in Studies of Complex Reactions. J. Phys. Chem A. 2015, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.5b01003). The model predicts the time profiles and yields of the experimentally observed primary products well, and shows satisfactory agreement for products formed mostly via secondary radical–radical reactions.