An Electron Bombardment-Matrix Isolation Study of the Tropospheric Reactions of Toluene
Campbell, Sasha Erin
MetadataShow full item record
The tropospheric reactions of toluene, acting as a model VOC, are investigated using an electron bombardment-matrix isolation system coupled with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Initial experiments to produce the hydroxyl radicals used to initiate the toluene reactions via electron bombardment of water-argon mixtures are performed. The effects of electron current, water concentration, and gas flow rate are investigated. A more efficient method of initiating the toluene reactions, by directly creating benzyl radicals through electron bombardment of toluene is then investigated, and the effects of toluene concentration and electron current on the production of the benzyl radicals is quantified. Benzyl radicals are successfully produced, and identified via FT-IR. The next step is the formation of benzylperoxy radicals, via electron bombardment of toluene-oxygen-argon gas mixtures. Experiments are performed using increasing concentrations of toluene and oxygen, in an attempt to observe the benzylperoxy radical. Two new absorptions are observed in the infrared spectra and are tentatively identified as due to the peroxy group on the benzylperoxy radical. Computational work is also performed to confirm that benzylperoxy radicals can in fact be produced from benzyl radicals and oxygen. The vibrational frequencies of the benzylperoxy radical are also calculated, and used to confirm the possibility that the new absorptions seen in the infrared spectra could in fact be due to benzylperoxy radicals. The overall results from this work demonstrate that it is likely to be possible to use electron bombardment-matrix isolation systems to investigate tropospheric reactions of volatile organics, and that further experiments could be enhanced by structural modifications to the system.