AN INVESTIGATION OF SOME REACTIONS OF ACTIVE NITROGEN.
RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INST TROY N Y DEPT OF CHEMISTRY
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The reactions of active nitrogen were studied in a fast-flow, low-pressure system using a mass spectrometer whose leak was located directly downstream from the reaction zone. Reactions of metastable N2A3u molecules, produced by means of surface catalyzed excitation, were also studied. The results of the excited molecule experiments indicated that, in general, N2A3u molecules do not play a major role in the reactions of active nitrogen with inorganic and organic substances such as O2, O3, N2O, C2H2 and C2H4. The reactions of N-atoms with hydrocarbons were studied along the lines of previous workers. It was found that, contrary to earlier work, HCN is not the only major nitrogencontaining product formed, but N2 is also a substantial product. Under certain conditions, NH3 and CH3CN can also be major products. Ammonia added to the flame zone of the C2H2-active nitrogen reaction was found to react with CH radicals formed, yielding HCN. A general degradation mechanism is proposed involving the attack of the hydrocarbon, in general, by a radical other than the N-atom as the initial step. Author