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2015 Spring Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Community... has ended
Wednesday, April 22 • 2:30pm - 4:30pm
Experimental Determination of the Competitive Unimolecular Elimination Rates from CD3CHFCl

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Ozone-depleting substances (ODS), initiated by Chlorinated Halocarbons (CFCs), have been a major focus within the scientific community. CFCs are chemical compounds used as refrigerants, cleaning solvents, foam-blowing agents, and aerosol propellants that destroy atmospheric ozone and contribute to global warming when they release atomic chlorine. CFCs were completely phased out by the Montreal Protocol in 1995 due to their environmental destruction and were replaced with hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). Despite the improvement that HFCs and HCFCs offer, they are scheduled to be phased out by 2020 in developed countries and 2030 in developing countries, as they are still harmful greenhouse gases. For this phase-out to occur, steps have been initiated to cleanup and convert these compounds into useful feedstocks. The research being presented here focuses on determining the degradation processes that HFCs and HCFCs undergo so that their reaction mechanism within the atmosphere is understood. By understanding the degradation process, vital steps can be taken to cleanup and convert these compounds into useful feedstocks with minimal environmental impacts. This research focuses on the HCFC model system CD3CHFCl, which exhibits competitive 1,1 and 1,2 elimination mechanisms. Preliminary results indicate that XCl elimination (X=H,D) is more energetically favored over XF elimination by an approximate factor of 3.5. Additionally, 1,1 elimination accounts for approximately 20% of all observed reaction pathways and is more energetically favored than originally expected based upon theory. Furthermore, the product branching fractions were found to be 0.61, 0.28, 0.08 and 0.03 for 1,2-DCl, 1,1-HCl, 1,2-DF and 1,1-HF elimination, respectively.

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Wednesday April 22, 2015 2:30pm - 4:30pm
Wilma Sherrill Center Grimes Atrium

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