Oxygenated compounds such as ethers and alcohols are used as gasoline additives and industrial solvents. However, despite their widespread use, the atmospheric reaction mechanisms of some of these compounds are unknown. This study examines the ·OH-initiated gas-phase removal mechanisms of ethyl-n-butyl ether (ENBE) and di-n-butyl ether (DNBE) utilizing gas chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques. The primary products and molar yields from the hydroxyl-radical-initiated photooxidation of ENBE in the presence of nitric oxide were acetaldehyde (0.173 ± 0.012), ethyl formate (0.219 ± 0.033), butyraldehyde (0.076 ± 0.004), butyl formate (0.241 ± 0.009), butyl acetate (0.032 ± 0.001), and ethyl butyrate (0.0044 ± 0.0006). From the calculated molar yields, approximately 45.5% of the reacted carbon were recovered. The primary products and molar yields from the DNBE and hydroxyl radical reaction in the presence of nitric oxide were propionaldehyde (0.379 ± 0.022), butyraldehyde (0.119 ± 0.003), butyl formate (0.410 ± 0.009), and butyl butyrate (0.019 ± 0.001). Approximately 47.7% of the reacted DNBE were recovered. The chemical mechanisms are presented to explain the formation of these products. In addition, the importance of the isomerization and nitrate/nitrite formation pathways in the reactions of large ethers are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry