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Formation of incipient soot particles from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: A ReaxFF molecular dynamics study

Mao, Q; van Duin, ACT; Luo, KH; (2017) Formation of incipient soot particles from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: A ReaxFF molecular dynamics study. CARBON , 121 pp. 380-388. 10.1016/j.carbon.2017.06.009. Green open access

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Abstract

In this study, we present the results from a series of ReaxFF molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to uncover the underlying mechanisms behind the nucleation and growth of incipient soot particles from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs, namely, naphthalene, anthracene, pyrene, coronene, ovalene and circumcoronene, are selected for ReaxFF MD simulations over a range of temperatures from 400 to 2500 K. Distinctive mechanisms of incipient soot formation are identified with respect to PAH mass and temperature. At low temperatures (e.g., 400 K), all types of the above PAHs can nucleate into incipient soot particles in stacked structures due to physical interactions. With the increase of temperature, the possibility of physical nucleation decreases for each PAH. At moderate temperatures (e.g., 1600 K), it becomes difficult for these PAH monomers, except circumcoronene grows into incipient soot particles. When the temperature increases to 2500 K, all the PAHs become chemically active, which not only leads to the formation of incipient soot particles but also takes the graphitization with the increase of the carbon-to-hydrogen (C/H) ratios in the particles. In addition to the formation of fullerene-like soot particles, stacked particles connected by ‘carbon bridges’ are also observed for large PAHs like coronene, ovalene and circumcoronene.

Type: Article
Title: Formation of incipient soot particles from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: A ReaxFF molecular dynamics study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.carbon.2017.06.009
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.carbon.2017.06.009
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)Soot, Nucleation, ReaxFF, Molecular dynamics (MD)
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 Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1560548
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