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The secondary chemistry of synthetic fuel oxymethylene ethers unraveled : theoretical and kinetic modeling of methoxymethyl formate and formic anhydride decomposition

  • De Ras, Kevin
  • Bonheure, Mike
  • Thybaut, Joris
  • Van Geem, Kevin
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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Replacing fossil fuels by oxymethylene ethers (OMEs) produced from renewable resources could help to reduce the rising CO2 levels. In this work, the thermal decomposition chemistry of methoxymethyl formate (CH3O-CH2OCHO) and formic anhydride (OCHOCHO) is investigated by means of a combination of quantum chemical calculations and kinetic modeling. The latter compounds are two important intermediates formed during the thermal decomposition chemistry of synthetic fuel OMEs. Two detailed kinetic models are developed based on first principles to describe the radical decomposition chemistry of methoxymethyl formate and formic anhydride, which are ultimately incorporated into the OME-2 model from De Ras et al. (Combustion and Flame, 2022). This newly obtained kinetic model describes experimental measurements for pyrolysis from literature significantly better than the model from the original study, without any fitting of thermodynamic or kinetic parameters. More particularly, some minor compounds are now satisfactorily reproduced within the experimental uncertainty margin of 10 mol% relative. Methoxymethyl formate and formic anhydride are found to be more reactive compared to OMEs. Both a reaction pathway analysis and sensitivity analysis reveal the important decomposition pathways under pyrolysis conditions.

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