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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/C516974/1
Title The Mechanism Of Soot Formation From Hydrocarbons and Biomass and The Formation Of Ultra-Small Soot Particles
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Bio-Energy, Other bio-energy) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr JM Jones
No email address given
Energy Resources Research Unit
University of Leeds
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 June 2005
End Date 30 November 2007
Duration 30 months
Total Grant Value £285,784
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region Yorkshire & Humberside
Programme Materials, Mechanical and Medical Eng, Process Environment and Sustainability
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr JM Jones , Energy Resources Research Unit, University of Leeds (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Professor M Pourkashanian , Energy Resources Research Unit, University of Leeds (0.001%)
Professor A Williams , Energy Resources Research Unit, University of Leeds (0.001%)
  Recognised Researcher Dr A Ross , Energy Resources Research Unit, University of Leeds (0.000%)
Dr RI Backreedy , University of Leeds (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Smoke arises from anthropogenic combustion processes, but a very important contribution to the global atmosphere is from forest fires and agriculture. Investigation and analysis of the aerosol particulate matter is of great importance because of the effects on human health, visibility, and climate change. The polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) found in soot are particularly toxic carcinogens and are listed by the United StatesEnvironmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the European Community as priority pollutants. Biomass-generated smoke is already a major problem in certain countries, and its contribution from power-generation will grow because biomass is expected to play an increasing role in energy production. Indeed The Royal Commission in Environmental Pollution has recently predicted a substantial growth in biomass fired power plant. This will result in a large increase in smoke emitted into the atmosphere or the formation of soots and tars during chemical processing. Surprisingly little attention has been devoted to the detailed nature of biomass smoke or the mechanism of formation and it has been assumed to be similar to hydrocarbon smoke. We have undertaken preliminary studies that show that this is not so and it contains a considerable amount of oxygenated compounds.Whilst two classes of high molecular weight hydrocarbons can be identified in hydrocarbon flames: polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and the fuller xxx species much of the soot remains as unresolved andsofar unanalyzable material and the types of species obtained depends on the fuel and the flat conditions. The initial soots formed are carbonised in the post flame reaction zone and are emitted as semi-ordered or graphitised species. Their effects on health and on atmospheric chemistry depend on the nature of their conversion from young soot to reacted soot. We have undertaken a previous studies of these materials and the object of this proposal is an extension of this work to examine the unknownspecies.The programme of work outlined in this proposal seeks to obtain fundamental information on the mechanism of PAH formation and growth, as well as the inception of soot formation in both cases. Of particular interest is the identification of factors which influence the route to PAH or fullerenes on the one hand, or amophous soot on the other. It also seeks to identify the uniques oxygenated species present in biomass soot, and how these contribution to the biomass soot formation mechanism. The reactions of these compounds can be modelled using ab initio and molecular modelling to examine the relative stabilities and energetics of reactions. The modelling programme Gaussian03 is ideal software for investigating this problem and we have some experience in using this program. The research proposal offers a way of integrating detailed analytical methods with modelling techniques to give substantial new information into the nature of soot and possibly new ways to control the formation of the small particles. In particular it can give information about their size and shape as well as information on the number of free electrons and their distribution; this information can be vital for control purposes on one hand and give an insight on health effects on the other.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 01/01/07