CHEMISTRY OF WIRE EXPLOSIONS IN HYDROCARBONS.
Rept. for Sep-Dec 66,
AEROSPACE CORP EL SEGUNDO CA LABS DIV
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Explosions of metals into various hydrocarbons were used to construct a model for the thermal behavior of gases surrounding electrically exploded metals. Calorimetry, product analysis, and equilibrium calculations were used for this purpose. In wire explosions into relatively inert hydrocarbons, endothermic pyrolyses were found to be largely confined to a small volume of surrounding gas molecules that were heated to very high temperatures. The initially high temperatures in this zone fall, principally because of the reaction endothermicity itself, to a range in which further reaction is precluded. More reactive gases pyrolyze endothermically both in this extremely hot zone and, to a lasser extent, in cooler regions. In such endothermic pyrolyses high efficiency in utilization of imparted electrical energy was found. Since acetylene can be made virtually the exclusive volatile hydrocarbon product of methane or ethane pyrolyses, this technique offers practical advantages in the synthesis of acetylene, an industrially important compound. The amount and composition of the wire to be exploded were found to have little effect on the compositions of the volatile products of endothermic pyrolyses, which were mainly acetylene and hydrogen, but also included other hydrocarbon products to extents depending on the hydrocarbon reactants. Hydrocarbons that decompose exothermically, such as acetylene, show different behavior. Metal alkyls were not found under any of the reaction conditions. Author
- Organic Chemistry
- Physical Chemistry