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An experimental investigation of phenyl radical pyrolysis and the phenyl radical + acetylene reaction has been performed to clarify the role of different reaction mechanisms involved in the formation and growth of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) serving as precursors for soot formation. Experiments were conducted using GC/GC-MS diagnostics coupled to the high-pressure single-pulse shock tube present at the University of Illinois at Chicago. For the first time, comprehensive speciation of the major stable products, including small hydrocarbons and large PAH intermediates, was obtained over a wide range of pressures (25-60 atm) and temperatures (900-1800 K) which encompass the typical conditions in modern combustion devices. The experimental results were used to validate a comprehensive chemical kinetic model which provides relevant information on the chemistry associated with the formation of PAH compounds. In particular, the modeling results indicate that the o-benzyne chemistry is a key factor in the formation of multi-ring intermediates in phenyl radical pyrolysis. On the other hand, the PAHs from the phenyl + acetylene reaction are formed mainly through recombination between single-ring aromatics and through the hydrogen abstraction/acetylene addition mechanism. Polymerization is the common dominant process at high temperature conditions.

Citation

A Comandini, T Malewicki, K Brezinsky. Chemistry of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons formation from phenyl radical pyrolysis and reaction of phenyl and acetylene. The journal of physical chemistry. A. 2012 Mar 15;116(10):2409-34

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PMID: 22339468

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