Atmospheric Chemical Kinetics
People everywhere are concerned about global warming, stratospheric
ozone depletion and ozone production in the lower atmosphere. Accurate
assessment of the effects of pollutants on the phenomena is needed.
Because of the complexity of atmospheric processes, prediction of
atmospheric conditions is made by construction of mathematical models.
Reaction rate data used in the models is not always accurate or even
available and estimates have to be made. Because of the magnitude of
economics and health factors involved, it is imperative that accurate
values of rates of chemical reactions in the atmosphere be known in order
to improve the validity of atmospheric models.
The objective of
this research is to measure the rate constants of nine pentanes with
hydroxyl radical over the range +200C to -70C. Reaction with hydroxyl
radicals is the first step in degradation and removal of pollutants from
the atmosphere. Pentanes were chosen because of their importance as
greenhouse gases, refrigerants, foaming agents and lower-atmosphere ozone
formers. Accurate data will extend knowledge of the properties of gaseous
pollutants arising from natural, urban, and industrial sources. Activation
energies and pre-exponential factors will be calculated from the rate
data, a stringent assessment and refinement of predictive rules of
hydroxyl radical reaction rate constants can be made, including nuances
due to chain branching and methylene group addition. Low temperature
results will test the accuracy of absolute reaction rates of similar
substances measured at these temperatures.
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