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J Phys Chem A. 2008 Aug 21;112(33):7608-15. doi: 10.1021/jp8026258. Epub 2008 Jul 29.

Theoretical explanation of nonexponential OH decay in reactions with benzene and toluene under pseudo-first-order conditions.

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  • 1Departamento de QuĂ­mica, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Iztapalapa, Mexico DF, 09340 Mexico.


OH radical reactions with benzene and toluene have been studied in the 200-600 K temperature range via the CBS-QB3 quantum chemistry method and conventional transition-state theory. Our study takes into account all possible hydrogen abstraction and OH-addition channels, including ipso addition. Reaction rates have been obtained under pseudo-first-order conditions, with aromatic concentrations in large excess compared to OH concentrations, which is the case in the reported experiments as well as in the atmosphere. The reported results are in excellent agreement with the experimental data and reproduce the discontinuity in the Arrhenius plots in the 300 K < T < 400 K temperature range. They support the suggestion that the observed nonexponential OH decay is caused by the existence of competing addition and abstraction channels and by the decomposition of thermalized OH-aromatic adducts back to reactants. We also find that the low-temperature onset of the nonexponential decay depends on the concentration of the aromatic compounds and that the lower the concentration, the lower the temperature onset. Under atmospheric conditions, nonexponential decay was found to occur in the 275-325 K range, which corresponds to temperatures of importance in tropospheric chemistry. Branching ratios for the different reaction channels are reported. We find that for T > or = 400 K the reaction occurs exclusively by H abstraction. At 298 K, ipso addition contributes 13.0% to the overall OH + toluene reaction, while the major products correspond to ortho addition, which represents 43% of all possible channels.

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