Statistical thermodynamics of the isomerization reaction between n-heptane and isoheptane

Tao Yu, Jingjing Zheng, Donald G. Truhlar

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24 Scopus citations


We have employed electronic structure calculations and the recently proposed multi-structural (MS) anharmonicity method to calculate partition functions and thermodynamic quantities, in particular entropy and heat capacity, for n-heptane and isoheptane. We included all structures, of which there are 59 for n-heptane and 37 for isoheptane, and we carried out the calculations both in the local harmonic approximation and by including torsional (T) anharmonicity. In addition, ΔS°, ΔH, and ΔG°for the isomerization reaction between these two species were also calculated. It is found that all calculated thermodynamic quantities based on the MS-T approximation in the temperature range from 298 K to 1500 K agree well with experimental data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) tables or Thermodynamics Research Center (TRC) data series and with values obtained from Benson's empirical parameters fit to experiment. This demonstrates not only the high accuracy of the electronic structure calculations but also that the MS-T method can be used to include both multiple-structure anharmonicity and torsional anharmonicity in the calculation of thermodynamic properties for complex molecules that contain many torsions. It also gives us confidence that we can apply the MS-T statistical thermodynamic method to obtain thermodynamic properties (i) over a broader temperature range than that for which data are available in the API tables, TRC data series, or from empirical estimation and (ii) to the many molecules for which experimental data are not available at any temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-494
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 14 2012


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