Pressure-dependent reactions are ubiquitous in combustion and atmospheric chemistry. We employ a new calibration procedure for quantum Rice-Ramsperger-Kassel (QRRK) unimolecular rate theory within a chemical activation mechanism to calculate the pressure-falloff effect of a radical association with an aromatic ring. The new theoretical framework is applied to the reaction of H with toluene, which is a prototypical reaction in the combustion chemistry of aromatic hydrocarbons present in most fuels. Both the hydrogen abstraction reactions and the hydrogen addition reactions are calculated. Our system-specific (SS) QRRK approach is adjusted with SS parameters to agree with multistructural canonical variational transition state theory with multidimensional tunneling (MS-CVT/SCT) at the high-pressure limit. The new method avoids the need for the usual empirical estimations of the QRRK parameters, and it eliminates the need for variational transition state theory calculations as a function of energy, although in this first application we do validate the falloff curves by comparing SS-QRRK results without tunneling to multistructural microcanonical variational transition state theory (MS-μVT) rate constants without tunneling. At low temperatures, the two approaches agree well with each other, but at high temperatures, SS-QRRK tends to overestimate falloff slightly. We also show that the variational effect is important in computing the energy-resolved rate constants. Multiple-structure anharmonicity, torsional-potential anharmonicity, and high-frequency-mode vibrational anharmonicity are all included in the rate computations, and torsional anharmonicity effects on the density of states are investigated. Branching fractions, which are both temperature- and pressure-dependent (and for which only limited data is available from experiment), are predicted as a function of pressure.
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We appreciate the help and valuable suggestions provided by Dr. Rube?n Meana-Pan?eda. This work was supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under grant no. DE-FG02-86ER13579.