Unimolecular thermal decomposition of phenol and d5-phenol: direct observation of cyclopentadiene formation via cyclohexadienone.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 1617 Cole Blvd., Golden, Colorado 80401-3393, USA.
The Journal of Chemical Physics (Impact Factor: 3.12). 01/2012; 136(4):044309. DOI: 10.1063/1.3675902
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The pyrolyses of phenol and d(5)-phenol (C(6)H(5)OH and C(6)D(5)OH) have been studied using a high temperature, microtubular (μtubular) SiC reactor. Product detection is via both photon ionization (10.487 eV) time-of-flight mass spectrometry and matrix isolation infrared spectroscopy. Gas exiting the heated reactor (375 K-1575 K) is subject to a free expansion after a residence time in the μtubular reactor of approximately 50-100 μs. The expansion from the reactor into vacuum rapidly cools the gas mixture and allows the detection of radicals and other highly reactive intermediates. We find that the initial decomposition steps at the onset of phenol pyrolysis are enol/keto tautomerization to form cyclohexadienone followed by decarbonylation to produce cyclopentadiene; C(6)H(5)OH → c-C(6)H(6) = O → c-C(5)H(6) + CO. The cyclopentadiene loses a H atom to generate the cyclopentadienyl radical which further decomposes to acetylene and propargyl radical; c-C(5)H(6) → c-C(5)H(5) + H → HC≡CH + HCCCH(2). At higher temperatures, hydrogen loss from the PhO-H group to form phenoxy radical followed by CO ejection to generate the cyclopentadienyl radical likely contributes to the product distribution; C(6)H(5)O-H → C(6)H(5)O + H → c-C(5)H(5) + CO. The direct decarbonylation reaction remains an important channel in the thermal decomposition mechanisms of the dihydroxybenzenes. Both catechol (o-HO-C(6)H(4)-OH) and hydroquinone (p-HO-C(6)H(4)-OH) are shown to undergo decarbonylation at the onset of pyrolysis to form hydroxycyclopentadiene. In the case of catechol, we observe that water loss is also an important decomposition channel at the onset of pyrolysis.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: time-dependent oxidation of carbon fibers in boiling nitric acid was used to investigate the influence of a modification of the fiber surface properties on the adhesion strength with an acrylate resin cured by electron beam (EB). For each time of treatment, a characterization of the surface topography and the surface chemistry was done (topography at a micrometric and nanometric scale, specific surface area, temperature programmed desorption, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis). The oxidation of the fiber surface in boiling nitric acid created a rough surface, which significantly increased the specific surface area, and also generated a high density of hydroxyl groups, carboxylic acids and lactones in comparison to untreated fibers. The adhesion strength with the acrylate resin cured by EB was measured by a pull-out test. For comparison, an isothermal ultraviolet curing of the matrix was also investigated. The value of the interfacial shear strength, determined by the Greszczuk's model, was increased by the oxidation of the carbon fiber surface for both curing processes, but lower values were systemically obtained with EB curing
    Surface and Interface Analysis 03/2013; 45(3):722. · 1.39 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A heated SiC microtubular reactor has been used to decompose acetaldehyde and its isotopomers (CH(3)CDO, CD(3)CHO, and CD(3)CDO). The pyrolysis experiments are carried out by passing a dilute mixture of acetaldehyde (roughly 0.1%-1%) entrained in a stream of a buffer gas (either He or Ar) through a heated SiC reactor that is 2-3 cm long and 1 mm in diameter. Typical pressures in the reactor are 50-200 Torr with the SiC tube wall temperature in the range 1200-1900 K. Characteristic residence times in the reactor are 50-200 μs after which the gas mixture emerges as a skimmed molecular beam at a pressure of approximately 10 μTorr. The reactor has been modified so that both pulsed and continuous modes can be studied, and results from both flow regimes are presented. Using various detection methods (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and both fixed wavelength and tunable synchrotron radiation photoionization mass spectrometry), a number of products formed at early pyrolysis times (roughly 100-200 μs) are identified: H, H(2), CH(3), CO, CH(2)=CHOH, HC≡CH, H(2)O, and CH(2)=C=O; trace quantities of other species are also observed in some of the experiments. Pyrolysis of rare isotopomers of acetaldehyde produces characteristic isotopic signatures in the reaction products, which offers insight into reaction mechanisms that occur in the reactor. In particular, while the principal unimolecular processes appear to be radical decomposition CH(3)CHO (+M) → CH(3) + H + CO and isomerization of acetaldehyde to vinyl alcohol, it appears that the CH(2)CO and HCCH are formed (perhaps exclusively) by bimolecular reactions, especially those involving hydrogen atom attacks.
    The Journal of Chemical Physics 10/2012; 137(16):164308. · 3.12 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The unimolecular thermal decomposition mechanisms of o-, m-, and p-dimethoxybenzene (CH3O-C6H4-OCH3) have been studied using a high temperature, microtubular (μtubular) SiC reactor with a residence time of 100 μs. Product detection was carried out using single photon ionization (SPI, 10.487 eV) and resonance enhanced multiphoton ionization (REMPI) time-of-flight mass spectrometry and matrix infrared absorption spectroscopy from 400 K to 1600 K. The initial pyrolytic step for each isomer is methoxy bond homolysis to eliminate methyl radical. Subsequent thermolysis is unique for each isomer. In the case of o-CH3O-C6H4-OCH3, intramolecular H-transfer dominates leading to the formation of o-hydroxybenzaldehyde (o-HO-C6H4-CHO) and phenol (C6H5OH). Para-CH3O-C6H4-OCH3 immediately breaks the second methoxy bond to form p-benzoquinone, which decomposes further to cyclopentadienone (C5H4=O). Finally, the m-CH3O-C6H4-OCH3 isomer will predominantly follow a ring-reduction/CO-elimination mechanism to form C5H4=O. Electronic structure calculations and transition state theory are used to confirm mechanisms and comment on kinetics. Implications for lignin pyrolysis are discussed.
    The Journal of Chemical Physics 06/2014; 140(23):234302. · 3.12 Impact Factor