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

Janet Yang, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Ryan West, Ph.D.


This thesis presents the experimental study of a 2,5-dimethylfuran oxidation reaction initiated by atomic oxygen (O(3P)) and the theoretical investigation of superalkalis properties. The experiments were performed at the Chemical Dynamics Beamline 9.0.2 of the Advanced Light Source (ALS) located at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, CA. The first chapter discusses world energy consumption and progress towards new sustainable energy sources, mainly focusing on biofuels, along with a basic description of combustion. A description of the superalkalis and a brief history of synchrotron radiation are also presented in Chapter 1. Chapter 2 describes the components of both the ALS and the beamline, whereas Chapter 3 introduces important concepts and computational aspects of this study. Chapter 4 presents the result and discussions of the reaction between 2,5-dimethylfuran and O(3P). The last chapters are dedicated to the theoretical investigation of interactions between a superalkali molecule species, Li3F2, and various gas molecules such as CO2, N2, and Volatile Organic Compounds.