Comprehensive low-temperature oxidation mechanisms are needed to accurately predict fuel auto-ignition properties. This paper studies the effects of a previously unconsidered third O2 addition reaction scheme on the simulated auto-ignition of n-alkanes. We demonstrate that this extended low-temperature oxidation scheme has a minor effect on the simulation of n-pentane ignition; however, its addition significantly improves the prediction of n-hexane auto-ignition under low-temperature rapid compression machine conditions. Additional simulations of n-hexane in a homogeneous charge compression ignition engine show that engine-operating parameters (e.g., intake temperature and combustion phasing) are significantly altered when the third O2 addition kinetic mechanism is considered. The advanced combustion phasing is initiated by the formation and destruction of additional radical chain-branching intermediates produced in the third O2 addition process, e.g. keto-dihydroperoxides and/or keto-hydroperoxy cyclic ethers. Our results indicate that third O2 addition reactions accelerate low-temperature radical chain branching at conditions of relevance to advance engine technologies, and therefore these chemical pathways should also be considered for n-alkanes with 6 or more carbon atoms.
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