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J Phys Chem A. 2016 Aug 25;120(33):6582-95. doi: 10.1021/acs.jpca.6b05411. Epub 2016 Aug 12.

Pressure-Dependent Competition among Reaction Pathways from First- and Second-O2 Additions in the Low-Temperature Oxidation of Tetrahydrofuran.

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Combustion Research Facility, Sandia National Laboratories , Livermore, California 94551, United States.


We report a combined experimental and quantum chemistry study of the initial reactions in low-temperature oxidation of tetrahydrofuran (THF). Using synchrotron-based time-resolved VUV photoionization mass spectrometry, we probe numerous transient intermediates and products at P = 10-2000 Torr and T = 400-700 K. A key reaction sequence, revealed by our experiments, is the conversion of THF-yl peroxy to hydroperoxy-THF-yl radicals (QOOH), followed by a second O2 addition and subsequent decomposition to dihydrofuranyl hydroperoxide + HO2 or to γ-butyrolactone hydroperoxide + OH. The competition between these two pathways affects the degree of radical chain-branching and is likely of central importance in modeling the autoignition of THF. We interpret our data with the aid of quantum chemical calculations of the THF-yl + O2 and QOOH + O2 potential energy surfaces. On the basis of our results, we propose a simplified THF oxidation mechanism below 700 K, which involves the competition among unimolecular decomposition and oxidation pathways of QOOH.


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