OH-initiated oxidation of benzene
Part II.†Influence of elevated NOx concentrations
The present work represents a continuation of part I of this series of papers, in which we investigated the phenol yields in the OH-initiated oxidation of benzene under conditions of low to moderate concentrations of NOx, to elevated NOx levels. The products of the OH-initiated oxidation of benzene in 700–760 Torr of N2/O2 diluent at 297 ± 4 K were investigated in 3 different photochemical reaction chambers. In situ spectroscopic techniques were employed for the detection of products, and the initial concentrations of benzene, NOx, and O2 were widely varied (by factors of 6300, 1500, and 13, respectively). In contrast to results from previous studies, a pronounced dependence of the product distribution on the NOx concentration was observed. The phenol yield decreases from approximately 50–60% in the presence of low concentrations (<5 ppb) of NOx to values below 5% in the presence of extremely high (>10 000 ppb) NOx concentrations. In the presence of high concentrations of NOx, the phenol yield increases with increasing O2 partial pressure. The rate constant of the reaction of hydroxycyclohexadienyl peroxyl radicals with NO was determined to be (1.7 ± 0.6) × 10−11 cm3 molecule−1 s−1. This reaction leads to the formation of E,E-2,4-hexadienedial as the main identifiable product (29 ± 16%). The reaction of the hydroxycyclohexadienyl radical with NO2 gave phenol (5.9 ± 3.4%) and E,E-2,4-hexadienedial (3.4 ± 1.9%), no other products could be identified. The residual FTIR product spectra indicate the formation of unknown nitrates or other nitrogen-containing species in high yield. The results from the present work also show that experimental studies aimed at establishing/verifying chemical mechanisms for aromatic hydrocarbons must be performed using NOx levels which are representative of those found in the atmosphere.