Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name




First Advisor

Professor Henry C. McBay

Second Advisor

Professor Augusto Rodriguez


This study documents an effort to design and construct an apparatus for the continuous generation hydrogen atoms to convert aliphatic and aromatic molecules to their respective dimers, by free radical mechanisms. The addition of hydrogen atoms to alkene and aromatic molecules, and hydrogen atom abstraction from alkanes by atomic hydrogen, followed by dimerization or disproportionation has been extensively studied. Emphasis here is placed on proving the efficacy of this device by production of known dimeric products.

This prototype incorporates critical factors known to effect gas phase free radical dimerizations and attempts to address each. Close attention then, has been paid to the temperature of the reacting gases and the tendency of the intermediates to disproportionate. This device introduces pre-cooled substrate molecules, at atmospheric pressure, to a perpendicular stream of hydrogen atoms produced by electrical discharge. The argon purged reaction chamber is packed with glass wool to enhance three body collisions and promote dimerization. The conversion of isobutene, benzene and toluene to dimers in this device was studied. Products were separated via simple distillation and product determinations made by comparing GC-Mass Spec peaks with the literature.

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