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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Studies in the thermal decompositions of isomeric pentanes Chrysochoos, John

Abstract

An investigation has been made of the pyrolysis of n-pentane, isopentane and neo-pentane in a static system at temperatures near 500°C. Both uninhibited and inhibited reactions were investigated. Of principal concern has been the effect of variation of initial pressure of hydrocarbon on the decomposition products for the uninhibited reaction. The effect of variation in surface-to-volume ratio on rates and on the distribution of the products has been also a point of concern. Structural effects on rates as well as the variation of energy of activation and frequency factors with pressure have been considered of importance. Investigations of orders of reaction provide information as far as the mechanism is concerned. As a final point the most important task for the uninhibited reaction was a mechanism explaining the results obtained, and offering logical reasons for the similarities and differences between the isomeric pentanes. For the inhibited reaction the points of principal concern considered have been: the effect of nitric oxide on the product distribution; the effect of packing on both rates and products, the behavior of NO. The investigation has as a main purpose to determine whether the role of nitric oxic5e as an inhibitor involves homogeneous or heterogeneous reactions. Whether NO was consumed or not was also an important question. As a final point a mechanism is also proposed for inhibited reactions which accounts for the experimental results and attempts to give a logical explanation of the inhibition phenomenon.

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