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Thomas Willms obtained his PhD at the University of Greifswald in 1999 and completed postdoctoral studies at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden Rossendorf and in industry in Paris. In 2007, he joined the GRS Brunswiek and then moved to Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden Rossendorf. Dr. Willms‘s group currently investigates the oxidation of hydrocarbons with the aim to improve the energy efficiency. His main responsibilities are improving processes and analytics including radical reactions, hydroperoxides and peroxides to reduce product losses.
The partial oxidation of isobutane to t-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP) has been studied analytically for the first time as a two-phase process in a capillary micro reactor. In order to obtain detailed information on products, yield, selectivity and reaction pathways, the products have been analysed by GC-MS. An Rxi-05-ms column and a PTV-injector have been used to separate the liquid products. The liquid products identified by MS were TBHP, di-t-butyl peroxide (DTBP), t-butanol (TBA), and propanone as main products as well as further by-pro¬ducts e.g. methanal, isopropanol, isobutanol and isobutanal in minor quantities. The liquid products have been obtained by quenching the reaction and vaporizing the isobutane afterwards by pressure reduction using a mass flow controller allowing a constant mass flow. The gaseous phase has been also analysed. Apart from the educts, isobutene has been found.