Combustion of renewable biofuels, including energydense biodiesel, is expected to contribute significantly toward meeting future energy demands in the transportation sector. Elucidating detailed reaction mechanisms will be crucial to understanding biodiesel combustion, and hydrogen abstraction reactions are expected to dominate biodiesel combustion during ignition. In this work, we investigate hydrogen abstraction by the radicals H·, CH 3·, O·, HO2·, and OH· from methyl formate, the simplest surrogate for complex biodiesels. We evaluate the H abstraction barrier heights and reaction enthalpies, using multireference correlated wave function methods including size-extensivity corrections and extrapolation to the complete basis set limit. The barrier heights predicted for abstraction by H·, CH3·, and O· are in excellent agreement with derived experimental values, with errors ≤1 kcal/mol. We also predict the reaction energetics for forming reactant complexes, transition states, and product complexes for reactions involving HO2· and OH·. High-pressure-limit rate constants are computed using transition state theory within the separable-hindered-rotor approximation for torsions and the harmonic oscillator approximation for other vibrational modes. The predicted rate constants differ significantly from those appearing in the latest combustion kinetics models of these reactions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry