Oxidation kinetics of n-pentanol: A theoretical study of the reactivity of the 1‑hydroxy‑1-peroxypentyl radical

Yaozong Duan, Manuel Monge Palacios, Edwing Grajales Gonzalez, Dong Han, Kristian H. Møller, Henrik G. Kjaergaard, Mani Sarathy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


n-Pentanol has been considered as a promising alternative fuel for compression-ignition engines due to its potential to reduce greenhouse gases and pollutant emissions. Engine performance is strongly dominated by fuel oxidation chemistry, and thus a more accurate determination of the coefficients of the reactions ruling its oxidation is essential for the utilization of n-pentanol in combustion engines. The reactions involving 1‑hydroxy‑1-pentyl and molecular oxygen were found to play an important role in controlling the low temperature oxidation chemistry, but have not been investigated experimentally or theoretically; this is also the case for the reactions of the 1‑hydroxy‑1-peroxypentyl radical, which is formed by the addition of oxygen to the radical center of 1‑hydroxy‑1-pentyl. This work presents a theoretical study with high level ab initio calculations at the CCSD(T)/aug-cc-pVTZ//M06-2X/cc-pVTZ level of theory to shed light on the fate of the 1‑hydroxy‑1-peroxypentyl radical. The rate coefficients of all the possible intra-molecular hydrogen shift reactions of that radical were computed using variational transition state theory with small curvature tunneling corrections. For certain reactions, tunneling and variational effects are very pronounced, proving the need for robust methodologies to account for these effects. The hydrogen shift reaction leading to a concerted HO2 elimination and formation of n-pentanal is the dominant pathway and governs the reactivity of 1‑hydroxy‑1-peroxypentyl radical at any temperature. The reverse of this reaction was thereby investigated as well. For this prominent pathway, the effects of multistructural (multiple conformers) torsional anharmonicity of the stationary points were taken into account in order to refine the forward and reverse rate coefficients. The rate coefficients calculated at room temperature are compared to those calculated using a previously developed cost-effective multi-conformer transition state theory approach. The system-specific quantum Rice-Ramsperger-Kassel (SS-QRRK) theory was used to compute the pressure-dependent rate coefficients, which indicate significant pressure dependence at intermediate and high temperatures. Implementation of the calculated reaction rate coefficients in chemical kinetics models of n-pentanol revealed that our computed rate coefficients enable better insights into the chemistry of n-pentanol, and help to understand how n-pentanal is formed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-32
Number of pages13
JournalCombustion and Flame
StatePublished - Jun 4 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2016-CRG5-3022
Acknowledgements: The research at Shanghai Jiao Tong University was supported by funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 51776124. The present work was also supported by funding from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) under award No. OSR-2016-CRG5-3022. We would like to acknowledge resources of the Supercomputing Laboratory at KAUST. We are grateful for the funding from the Independent Research Fund Denmark, and the University of Copenhagen. The authors also would like to thank Prof. Heufer for providing us with the volume traces used in the RCM simulations.


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