Journal Article

Formation of CO2 on a carbonaceous surface: a quantum chemical study

T. P. M. Goumans, Madeeha A. Uppal and Wendy A. Brown

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 384, issue 3, pages 1158-1164
Published in print March 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Formation of CO2 on a carbonaceous surface: a quantum chemical study

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The formation of CO2 in the gas phase and on a polyaromatic hydrocarbon surface (coronene) via three possible pathways is investigated with density functional theory. Calculations show that the coronene surface catalyses the formation of CO2 on model grain surfaces. The addition of 3O to CO is activated by 2530 K in the gas phase. This barrier is lowered by 253 K for the Eley–Rideal mechanism and 952 K for the hot-atom mechanism on the surface of coronene. Alternative pathways for the formation of CO2 are the addition of 3O to the HCO radical, followed by dissociation of the HCO2 intermediate. The O + HCO addition is barrierless in the gas phase and on the surface and is more than sufficiently exothermic to subsequently cleave the H–C bond. The third mechanism, OH + CO addition followed by H removal from the energized HOCO intermediate, has a gas-phase exit barrier that is 1160 K lower than the entrance barrier. On the coronene surface, however, both barriers are almost equal. Because the HOCO intermediate can also be stabilized by energy dissipation to the surface, it is anticipated that for the surface reaction the adsorbed HOCO could be a long-lived intermediate. In this case, the stabilized HOCO intermediate could react, in a barrierless manner, with a hydrogen atom to form H2+ CO2, HCO2H, or H2O + CO.

Keywords: astrochemistry; molecular processes; ISM: molecules

Journal Article.  4989 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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