We have investigated the gas-phase chemistry in dense cores where ice mantles containing ethanol and other alcohols have been evaporated. Model calculations show that methanol, ethanol propanol, and butanol drive a chemistry leading to the formation of several large ethers and esters. Of these molecules, methyl ethyl ether (CH3OC2H5) and diethyl ether [(C2H5)(2)O] attain the highest abundances and should be present in detectable quantities within cores rich in ethanol and methanol. Gas-phase reactions act to destroy evaporated ethanol and a low observed abundance of gas-phase C2H5OH does not rule out a high solid-phase abundance. Grain surface formation mechanisms and other possible gas-phase reactions driven by alcohols are discussed, as are observing strategies for the detection of these large interstellar molecules.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 1995|