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Issue 15, 2011
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Fuel-specific influences on the composition of reaction intermediates in premixed flames of three C5H10O2 ester isomers

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Abstract

Measurements of the composition of reaction intermediates in low-pressure premixed flat flames of three simple esters, the methyl butanoate (MB), methyl isobutanoate (MIB), and ethyl propanoate (EP) isomers of C5H10O2, enable further refinement and validation of a detailed chemical reaction mechanism originally developed in modeling studies of similar flames of methyl formate, methyl acetate, ethyl formate, and ethyl acetate. Photoionization mass spectrometry (PIMS), using monochromated synchrotron radiation, reveals significant differences in the compositions of key reaction intermediates between flames of the MB, MIB, and EP isomers studied under identical flame conditions. Detailed kinetic modeling describes how these differences are related to molecular structures of each of these isomers, leading to unique fuel destruction pathways. Despite the simple structures of these small esters, they contain structural functional groups expected to account for fuel-specific effects observed in the combustion of practical biodiesel fuels. The good agreement between experimental measurements and detailed reaction mechanisms applicable to these simple esters demonstrates that major features of each flame can be predicted with reasonable accuracy by building a hierarchical reaction mechanism based on three factors: (1) unimolecular decomposition of the fuel, especially by complex bond fission; (2) H-atom abstraction reactions followed by β-scission of the resulting radicals, leading to nearly all of the intermediate species observed in each flame; (3) the rates of H-atom abstraction reactions for each alkoxy or alkyl group (i.e., methoxy, ethoxy, methyl, ethyl, propyl) are effectively the same as in other ester fuels with the same structural groups.

Graphical abstract: Fuel-specific influences on the composition of reaction intermediates in premixed flames of three C5H10O2 ester isomers

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Oct 2010, accepted on 23 Feb 2011 and first published on 15 Mar 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0CP02065F
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011,13, 6901-6913
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    Fuel-specific influences on the composition of reaction intermediates in premixed flames of three C5H10O2 ester isomers

    B. Yang, C. K. Westbrook, T. A. Cool, N. Hansen and K. Kohse-Höinghaus, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011, 13, 6901
    DOI: 10.1039/C0CP02065F

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