Reactions of polycyclic alkylaromatics: Structure and reactivity



A family of alkyl-substituted polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons was pyrolyzed in microbatch reactors at temperatures between 350°C and 425°C. A general pyrolysis network was deduced for these compounds, and it comprised two major and one minor parallel pathways. The first major pathway resulted in products analogous to the major products observed from alkylbenzene pyrolysis. The second major pathway led to products via the cleavage of the strong aryl-alkyl C[BOND]C bond. The third pathway led to small amounts of products, presumably through cyclization and condensation reactions. The relative importance of the two major pathways varied for the different compounds. The rates of aryl-alkyl bond cleavage differed for the different compounds, and these rates were quantitatively related to the compounds' localization energies through Dewar reactivity numbers.