Formation mechanisms of soot from high-molecular-weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Kiminori Ono, Yoshiya Matsukawa, Kazuki Dewa, Aki Watanabe, Kaname Takahashi, Yasuhiro Saito, Yohsuke Matsushita, Hideyuki Aoki, Koki Era, Takayuki Aoki, Togo Yamaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The feedstocks, including benzene, acetylene, and benzene with acetylene or 2-7 ring PAH, were pyrolyzed in an isothermal laminar flow at 1400-1650. K. The particle size distributions (PSDs) of soot and nascent soot were analyzed using a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS). The morphology of particles with the same mobility particle diameter was examined using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), where the grid was sampled via thermophoretic sampling assisted by a differential mobility analyzer (DMA). The soot produced by the pyrolysis of acetylene at 1400. K exhibited the highest number concentration and a log-normal distribution compared with those of the soot produced by the pyrolysis of benzene and the PAH additives. At 1500. K, the pyrolysis of PAHs with three or more rings with zigzag sites significantly increased the number concentration, although the added carbon concentration was smaller than that of acetylene. The addition of dibenzo[a,e]pyrene, which possesses three armchair sites, inhibited soot formation, suggesting that the bay site is easily formed and that the formation of anisotropic PAHs inhibits dimerization. The morphology of the soot formed by the addition of dibenzo[a,e]pyrene exhibited a primary particle diameter of 10. nm and similar primary particles, whereas the morphology of the soot formed by the addition of PAHs with zigzag sites clearly indicated a structure with a primary particle diameter of 20-40. nm. These observations indicate that the incipient soot is formed by the formation of dimers or small clusters of large PAHs via the mechanisms of aromatic molecule addition to aromatic radicals referred to as the PAH-addition cyclization (PAH-AC) mechanism at high temperatures, whereas moderate-sized PAHs developed via the hydrogen-abstraction-carbon-addition (HACA) mechanism form clusters and incipient soot at relatively low temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2670-2678
Number of pages9
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 1


  • Nascent soot
  • PAH
  • Particle mobility and sizing
  • Particle size distribution
  • Soot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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