Soot, Reactions, Model Compounds


As a follow-up of previous work on the flame pyrolysis of biphenyl and pyrene, a more detailed analysis of the pyrolytic products has been done using additional NMR data obtained on the whole soot sample correlated with detailed high-resolution and GC mass spectrometry data on the solvent-extracted portion of the same samples. These latter data complement the earlier NMR data with details of the pre-sooting structures, referred to as “young soot”, in pyrolyzed biphenyl samples collected at 1365, 1410, and 1470 K and pyrene at 1410 and 1470 K. The data reveal the roles played by free-radical-assisted polymerization reactions as well as the hydrogen-abstraction carbon-addition (HACA) reactions for the biphenyl pyrolysis. The mass spectroscopy data of pyrene describe a much different set of reactions due to polymerization which employs free-radical reactions of the pyrene due primarily to hydrogen abstraction followed by the formation of biaryl linkages at mass numbers up to five times that of the parent pyrene. Conceptual schema of reaction mechanisms are proposed to explain the formation pathways to materials detected in the soot extracts.

Original Publication Citation

Winans, R. E., N. A. Tomczyk, J. E. Hunt, M. S. Solum, R. J. Pugmire, Y. J. Jiang, and T. H. Fletcher, “Model Compound Study of the Pathways for Aromatic Hydrocarbon Formation in Soot,” Energy & Fuels, 21. 2584-2593 (2007).

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



American Chemical Society




Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering


Chemical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor