Combustion and Flame, Vol.224, 14-23, 2021
Reactions of propyl radicals: A shock tube-VUV photoionization mass spectrometry study
The pyrolytic reactions of n-propyl and i-propyl radicals and their precursors have been investigated at elevated temperatures and pressures (600-900 K and 5-8 bar). The studies were performed in a miniature high repetition rate shock tube with synchrotron vacuum ultraviolet photoionization mass spectrometry yielding comprehensive datasets of temporal and photoionization energy dependencies of reagents and products. The propyl radicals were generated by pyrolysis of alkyl nitrites. In addition to the main decomposition path, NO elimination, the mass spectra allowed an alternative minor path via HNO elimination to be identified and quantified. For the n-propyl precursor the HNO elimination route accounted for 9% of the alkyl nitrite while for the i-propyl precursor it was 2.5%. These values are in good agreement with a recent study on i-butyl radicals in the same apparatus at similar conditions. The ratio of disproportionation/recombination was obtained for n-propyl from the relative concentrations of n-hexane and propene and for i-propyl from 2,3-dimethyl butane and propene. For n-propyl the ratio is 0.3 and 1.2 for i-propyl, both are independent of temperature and pressure over the experimental range. The disproportionation/recombination ratios are about a factor of 2 higher than prior evaluations that are based mainly on room temperature data. The experimental results are some of the first from the apparatus used and comments are made about the technique, challenges encountered, and suggestions for future developments. (C) 2020 The Combustion Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.