The oxidation mechanism of hydrazine and hydroxylamine were investigated using molecular orbital (MO) calculation. Two pathways for their reactions were verified. One is initiated by hydrogen elimination from the reducing agent, followed by coordination of hydroxyl group to center nitrogen atom accompanied with electron emission. Another is initiated by coordination of hydroxyl group to hydrogen atom to form H2O, which is eliminated later, followed by electron emission. The calculated results indicated that the oxidation reactions of hydrazine preferentially proceeded via the second pathway. It was also indicated that only the first electron emission steps of the hydrazine oxidation took place on Cu surface, while the following reactions proceeded at near the solid/liquid interface. The oxidation of hydroxylamine also proceeded via the elimination reaction of H2O. After the oxidation, calculated heats of reactions suggested that OH radical, generated from N2O as a product, decomposed hydroxylamine.
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