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The Production of Methane, Acetone, “Cold” CO and Oxygenated Species from Isopropyl Alcohol in a Non-Thermal Plasma: An In-Situ FTIR Study

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Paul ChristensenORCiD, Zeinab Mashhadani, Dr Michael Carroll



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by American Chemical Society, 2018.

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This paper reports in-situ Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) spectroscopic studies on the non-thermal plasma reaction of isopropyl alcohol in dinitrogen at Macor (a ceramic containing oxides of Al, Mg and Si) and the analogous thermally-driven process. Whilst isopropyl alcohol did not react at the Macor at temperatures up to 600‹C, the study of the nonthermal plasma-driven process at the ceramic led to unexpected chemistry hitherto not observed, primarily the reaction of IPA in dinitrogen at short timescales to produce methane, HCN, acetone and “cold” CO at ca. 115K. The CO, methane and HCN rapidly established steady state concentrations, pointing to the need for faster FTIR studies: at longer times, isophorone and a polymethylacetylene-like” polymer were formed as a brown oil. The observation of the steadystate gases and brown oil suggested parallel pathways in the plasma, the latter taking place at the plasma/catalyst interface, and the former in the plasma remote from the catalyst. Replacing dinitrogen with argon completely inhibited or negated the production of the oil, had no effect upon the processes taking place in the plasma remote from the Macor and instead resulted in the production of acetylene.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Christensen P, Mashhadani Z, MdAli AHB, Carroll M, Martin P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: The Journal of Physical Chemistry

Year: 2018

Volume: 122

Issue: 17

Pages: 4273–4284

Print publication date: 03/05/2018

Online publication date: 17/04/2018

Acceptance date: 17/04/2018

Date deposited: 03/05/2018

ISSN (print): 1089-5639

ISSN (electronic): 1520-5215

Publisher: American Chemical Society


DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.7b12297


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