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Effects of unsaturation of C2 and C3 hydrocarbons on the formation of PAHs and on the toxicity of soot particles

Dandajeh, HA; Ladommatos, N; Hellier, P; Eveleigh, A; (2017) Effects of unsaturation of C2 and C3 hydrocarbons on the formation of PAHs and on the toxicity of soot particles. Fuel , 194 pp. 306-320. 10.1016/j.fuel.2017.01.015. Green open access

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Abstract

Engineering systems such as gas turbines and internal combustion engines utilise gaseous fuels which produce toxic substances when they are burnt. Among these substances are solid soot particles and gas phase polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The link between soot and PAHs has long been established. Firstly, PAHs assemble themselves into larger structures which are the soot particles themselves. Secondly, they are mostly found, adsorbed on the surfaces of soot particles and form their toxic components. This paper presents the results of both gas-phase and particle-phase PAHs generated from pyrolysis of ethane, ethylene, acetylene, propane and propylene in a homogenous laminar flow reactor. The PAHs studied were the US EPA 16 priority PAHs, but emphasis was given to those PAHs classified as possible carcinogens to humans (Group B2). Pyrolysis of five gaseous fuel molecules was carried out within the temperature range of 1050–1350 °C under oxygen free condition and a fixed fuel concentration of 10,000 ppm on C1 basis. Soot and gas phase products generated within the reactor were sampled from the exit of the reactor. The PAHs from the samples were then extracted using an accelerated solvent extractor (ASE) and their analysis was carried out using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GCMS). The experimental results showed that, depending on the temperature at which a fuel is pyrolysed, its degree of unsaturation plays an important role on the type and concentration of PAHs per unit mass of soot and per unit gas volume. The type of PAH produced and its concentration influenced the overall carcinogenic potential of the gaseous and particulate effluent. It was established that the double bonded C3 propylene produced the highest amount of soot and particle-phase PAHs per unit mass of soot and per unit volume of gas. Propylene also produced soot particles with the highest carcinogenicity in the temperature range of 1050–1250 °C and the carcinogenicity decreased with temperature increase. The triple bonded C2 acetylene produced the highest amount of gas phase PAHs per unit volume of gas when compared with other C2 and C3 fuels. It was concluded that increasing the unsaturation of a fuel increases its gas phase PAHs in the case of the C2 fuels and particle phase PAHs in the case of the C3 fuels. The total PAH distribution was therefore dominated by the gas phase PAHs in the C2 fuels and particle phase PAHs in the C3 fuels.

Type: Article
Title: Effects of unsaturation of C2 and C3 hydrocarbons on the formation of PAHs and on the toxicity of soot particles
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2017.01.015
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2017.01.015
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. This manuscript version is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This license allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licenses are available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/. Access may be initially restricted by the publisher.
Keywords: PAHs; Unsaturation; Pyrolysis; Fuels, soot; Toxicity
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Chemical Engineering
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1538447
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