Thermochemical and kinetic analysis of the thermal decomposition of monomethylhydrazine: An elementary reaction mechanism

Hongyan Sun, Chung King Law

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34 Scopus citations


The reaction kinetics for the thermal decomposition of monomethylhydrazine (MMH) was studied with quantum Rice-Ramsperger-Kassel (QRRK) theory and a master equation analysis for pressure falloff. Thermochemical properties were determined by ab initio and density functional calculations. The entropies, So(298.15 K), and heat capacities, Cpo(T) (0 ≤ T/K ≤ 1500), from vibrational, translational, and external rotational contributions were calculated using statistical mechanics based on the vibrational frequencies and structures obtained from the density functional study. Potential barriers for internal rotations were calculated at the B3LYP/6-311G-(d,p) level, and hindered rotational contributions to S o(298.15 K) and Cpo(T) were calculated by solving the Schrödinger equation with free rotor wave functions, and the partition coefficients were treated by direct integration over energy levels of the internal rotation potentials. Enthalpies of formation, Δ fHo(298.15 K), for the parent MMH (CH3NHNH 2) and its corresponding radicals CH3N·NH 2, CH3NHN·H, and C·H2NHNH 2 were determined to be 21.6, 48.5, 51.1, and 62.8 kcal mol -1 by use of isodesmic reaction analysis and various ab initio methods. The kinetic analysis of the thermal decomposition, abstraction, and substitution reactions of MMH was performed at the CBS-QB3 level, with those of N-N and C-N bond scissions determined by high level CCSD(T)/6-311++G(3df,2p)// MPWBlK/6-31+G(d,p) calculations. Rate constants of thermally activated MMH to dissociation products were calculated as functions of pressure and temperature. An elementary reaction mechanism based on the calculated rate constants, thermochemical properties, and literature data was developed to model the experimental data on the overall MMH thermal decomposition rate. The reactions of N-N and C-N bond scission were found to be the major reaction paths for the modeling of MMH homogeneous decomposition at atmospheric conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3748-3760
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 17 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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