Date of Graduation

Fall 12-16-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemistry


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Giovanni Meloni, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Michael Stevenson, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Amrita Bhattacharyya, Ph.D.


This thesis presents the combustion study of acetyl acetone 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 reaction of acetyl acetone with chlorine (Cl) radicals was analyzed based on their photoionization spectra and reaction kinetic profiles.

Additionally, a study of the Russell intermediate has been performed. Previous to experimentation at the Advanced Light Source, computational analysis has been investigated to evaluate compounds that could possibly lead to the formation of a stable species. The cases of acetone, acetyl acetone and ethanol have been studied and their reactions with chlorine radicals and O2.

Chapter 1 of this thesis discusses the importance of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the atmosphere and the gas-phase reactions they undergo in the environment. Additionally, it presents the chemical processes that lead to the formation of the Russell intermediate from alkyl peroxy radicals. The experimental method detailing the synchrotron techniques is 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 investigation of oxidation reaction products of acetyl acetone is presented in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 continues with the study of the Russell intermediate in different systems and computational analysis, with a focus on acetone, acetyl acetone and ethanol systems.