The results of some investigations of the chemical reactions occurring during laser-induced gas breakdown of sulfur compounds in the presence of oxygen are reported. Thiacyclobutane and thiacyclopentane were chosen because they are sulfur compounds found in shale oil, a possible source of fuel for future use. While the reactions occurring during gas breakdown are chemically interesting in themselves, they are important practically in the sense that the products formed during the combustion of fuels containing sulfur compounds present a serious air pollution problem. Since the mechanisms of the oxidation of sulfur compounds are not well understood, chemical reactions initiated by laser-induced gas breakdown provide a technque for the study of reactions initiated at a high temperature.
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