English (United Kingdom)
Home Abstracts HCO Formation in the Thermal Unimolecular Decomposition of Glyoxal

Drucken E-Mail

• HCO Formation in the Thermal Unimolecular Decomposition of Glyoxal: Rotational and Weak Collision Effects

G. Friedrichs, M. Colberg, J. Dammeier, T. Bentz, M. Olzmann
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 10 (2008) 6520 - 6533.


The multi-channel thermal unimolecular decomposition of glyoxal was experimentally investigated in the temperature range 1106 K < T < 2320 K and at total densities of 1.7 · 10-6 mol/cm3 < ρ < 1.9 · 10-5 mol/cm3 by monitoring HCO (frequency modulation spectroscopy, FMS), (CHO)2 (UV absorption), and H atom (atom resonance absorption spectroscopy, H-ARAS) concentration-time profiles behind shock waves. With a branching fraction of 48% at T = 2300 K and ρ = 1.6 · 10-5mol/cm3 the so far neglected energetically unfavourable HCO-forming decomposition channel, (CHO)2 → 2 HCO, was found to play a crucial role and in fact represents the major decomposition pathway at high temperatures and high total densities. A theoretical analysis of the experimental results in terms of Rice-Ramsperger-Kassel-Marcus theory (RRKM), the simplified statistical adiabatic channel model (SACM), and an energy-grained master equation (ME) was based on input parameters from ab initio calculations (G3 and MP2/6-311G(d,p)) and literature data on branching ratios from collision-free photolysis experiments. A consistent description of the temperature and density dependences was achieved, revealing that both rotational and weak collision effects are reflected in the measured branching ratios. Overall, a product channel switching occurs with the CH2O-forming channel, (CHO)2 → CH2O + CO, dominating at low temperatures/densities and the HCO-forming channel dominating at high temperatures/densities. Additionally, the so-called triple whammy channel, (CHO)2 → 2 CO + H2, significantly contributes to the total decomposition rate at intermediate temperatures/densities whereas the HCOH-forming pathway, (CHO)2 → HCOH + CO, is predicted to be the least important one. The temperature and pressure dependences of the different decomposition channels are parametrized in terms of two-dimensional Chebyshev polynomials.


Zuletzt aktualisiert am Donnerstag, den 17. Juni 2010 um 11:11 Uhr