Alkanes are significant components of gasoline and diesel fuels and of vehicle exhaust, and alkanes containing 9-13 carbon atoms are important constituents of mineral spirits. In the atmosphere, alkanes react with the hydroxyl (OH) radical to form a suite of products, certain of which are presently difficult to identify and quantify. The formation of organic nitrates from the OH radical-initiated reactions of alkanes in the presence of NOx affects ozone formation, because NO2 which would otherwise be photolyzed to form O3 is sequestered in the organic nitrates. Hence, accurate measurements of the amounts of organic nitrates formed, including hydroxyalkyl nitrates, is critical to predictions of ozone formation from alkane photooxidations. We investigated the products of the gas-phase reactions of OH radicals with the n-alkanes n-pentane through n-octane and investigated the kinetics and products of the OH radical reactions of three representative linear, branched and cyclic C10 alkanes, n-decane, 3,4-diethylhexane and n-butylcyclohexane. Roger Atkinson is a Research Chemist at the Air Pollution Research Center and a Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and the Department of Chemistry at UC Riverside. He is the author or co-author of over 300 technical publications dealing with the atmospheric chemistry of volatile organic compounds.
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