Oxidation and Pyrolysis of Methyl Propyl Ether

Mark Nimlos, Matthew Johnson, Erik Ninnemann, Andrew Laich, Gina Fioroni, Dongil Kang, Lintao Bu, Duminda Ranasinghe, Sarah Khanniche, S. Goldsborough, Subith Vasu, William Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus Citations


The ignition, oxidation, and pyrolysis chemistry of methyl propyl ether (MPE) was probed experimentally at several different conditions, and a comprehensive chemical kinetic model was constructed to help understand the observations, with many of the key parameters computed using quantum chemistry and transition state theory. Experiments were carried out in a shock tube measuring time variation of CO concentrations, in a flow tube measuring product concentrations, and in a rapid compression machine (RCM) measuring ignition delay times. The detailed reaction mechanism was constructed using the Reaction Mechanism Generator software. Sensitivity and flux analyses were used to identify key rate and thermochemical parameters, which were then computed using quantum chemistry to improve the mechanism. Validation of the final model against the 1–20 bar 600–1500 K experimental data is presented with a discussion of the kinetics. The model is in excellent agreement with most of the shock tube and RCM data. Strong non-monotonic variation in conversion and product distribution is observed in the flow-tube experiments as the temperature is increased, and unusually strong pressure dependence and significant heat release during the compression stroke is observed in the RCM experiments. These observations are largely explained by a close competition between radical decomposition and addition to (Formula presented.) at different sites in MPE; this causes small shifts in conditions to lead to big shifts in the dominant reaction pathways. The validated mechanism was used to study the chemistry occurring during ignition in a diesel engine, simulated using Ignition Quality Test (IQT) conditions. At the IQT conditions, where the MPE concentration is higher, bimolecular reactions of peroxy radicals are much more important than in the RCM.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)915-938
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Chemical Kinetics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2800-79275


  • automatic mechanism generation
  • combustion
  • flow tube
  • ignition quality tester
  • methyl propyl ether
  • pyrolysis
  • rapid compression machine
  • shock tube


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