Date of Graduation

Spring 5-31-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemistry


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Giovanni Meloni, Ph. D.

Second Advisor

Ryan West, Ph. D.

Third Advisor

William Melaugh, Ph. D.


This thesis presents the combustion study of three furanic compounds using synchrotron radiation coupled with multiplexed photoionization mass spectrometry at 298 K. The experiments were performed at the Chemical Dynamics Beamline 9.0.2 at the Advanced Light Source of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The reactions of the three furanic compounds with methylidyne (CH) radicals were analyzed based on their photoionization spectra and kinetic profiles.

Additionally, the unimolecular dissociation of valeric acid was also studied and presented in this work using the double imaging photoelectron photoion spectrometry (i2PEPICO) coupled with synchrotron radiation from the VUV beamline. The experiments were carried out at the Swiss Light Source of the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen, Switzerland. The unimolecular dissociation dynamics of valeric acid were studied by analyzing ions with a well-defined internal energy state and used to derive thermochemical values for unknown reaction species.

Chapter 1 of this thesis discuss the importance of biofuel research due to the negative impacts of fossil fuel combustion on the environment. The experimental methods and apparatuses of the ALS and SLS beamlines are described in detail in Chapter 2. In Chapter 3, the theory behind the experimental and computational methods used to analyze the experiments presented in this thesis are thoroughly explained. The combustion study of furan and 2-methlyfuran with CH (X2Π) radicals is presented in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 continues with the combustion study of 2,5-dimethlyfuran with CH (X2Π) and CD radicals. To conclude, Chapter 6 presents the photoionization and photodissociation study of valeric acid.