Date of Graduation

Fall 5-18-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Giovanni Meloni


Concern over natural resources and global climate shifts has increased the focus of sourcing transportation fuels from depleting oil wells to regenerative, biological based solutions. One avenue of biologically sourced fuel involves the extraction of C5 and C6 sugars from the woody, fibrous, and inedible plant materials, otherwise known as lignocellulosic biomass. These cellulosic sugars can be converted to target biofuels and biofuel additives like the furanic compounds, 2,5-dimethylfuran and 2-methylfuran. In this thesis, the low temperature oxidation of two compounds, 2,5-dimethylfuran and 2-methylfuran, are explored. These reactions were conducted at the Advanced Light Source in Berkeley, CA and used a multiplexed time-resolved mass spectrometer spectrometer coupled with the continuously tunable synchrotron UV radiation. The reaction species were probed and reaction mechanisms presented. It is our hope this and other similar studies advance combustion systems for optimum performance and allow for the development of „designer‟ fuels with higher energy outputs and lower sooting emissions. An introduction to the field of biofuels, our experimental apparatus, and some theoretical physical chemistry concepts are presented first followed by the oxidation studies.