The kinetics of the reactions of cyano radical, CN (X2Σ+) with three hydrocarbons, propane (CH3CH2CH3), propene (CH3CHCH2) and 1-butyne (CHCCH2CH3) have been studied over the temperature range of 23–298 K using a CRESU (Cinétique de Réaction en Ecoulement Supersonique Uniforme or Reaction Kinetics in Uniform Supersonic Flow) apparatus combined with the pulsed laser photolysis–laser induced fluorescence technique. These reactions are of interest for the cold atmospheres of Titan, Pluto and Triton, as they might participate in the formation of nitrogen and carbon bearing molecules, including nitriles, that are thought to play an important role in the formation of hazes and biological molecules. All three reactions are rapid with rate coefficients in excess of 10−10 cm3 molecule−1 s−1 at the lowest temperatures of this study and show behaviour characteristic of barrierless reactions. Temperature dependences, different for each reaction, are compared to those used in the most recent photochemical models of Titan's atmosphere.
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