High-Temperature Experimental and Theoretical Study of the Unimolecular Dissociation of 1,3,5-Trioxane

Unimolecular dissociation of 1,3,5-trioxane was investigated experimentally and theoretically over a wide range of conditions. Experiments were performed behind reflected shock waves over the temperature range of 775–1082 K and pressures near 900 Torr using a high-repetition rate time of flight mass spectrometer (TOF-MS) coupled to a shock tube (ST). Reaction products were identified directly, and it was found that formaldehyde is the sole product of 1,3,5-trioxane dissociation. Reaction rate coefficients were extracted by the best fit to the experimentally measured concentration–time histories. Additionally, high-level quantum chemical and RRKM calculations were employed to study the falloff behavior of 1,3,5-trioxane dissociation. Molecular geometries and frequencies of all species were obtained at the B3LYP/cc-pVTZ, MP2/cc-pVTZ, and MP2/aug-cc-pVDZ levels of theory, whereas the single-point energies of the stationary points were calculated using coupled cluster with single and double excitations including the perturbative treatment of triple excitation (CCSD­(T)) level of theory. It was found that the dissociation occurs via a concerted mechanism requiring an energy barrier of 48.3 kcal/mol to be overcome. The new experimental data and theoretical calculations serve as a validation and extension of kinetic data published earlier by other groups. Calculated values for the pressure limiting rate coefficient can be expressed as log<sub>10</sub> <i>k</i><sub>∞</sub> (s<sup>–1</sup>) = [15.84 – (49.54 (kcal/mol)/2.3<i>RT</i>)] (500–1400 K).