INTERSTELLAR ALCOHOLS

S.B. Charnley, M.E. Kress, A.G.G.M. Tielens, TJ Millar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-239
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume448
Publication statusPublished - 1995

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