• JoPCA-124-10040-10052

Reactivity of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Soot Precursors: Kinetics and Equilibria

Reference: Journal of Physical Chemistry A 124, 10040-10052, (2020)

  • Cross-linking rate constants are computed for PAHs with different reactive edges.
  • Reactions of σ-radicals and localised π-radicals had the largest rate constants.
  • All rate constants are likely too low to explain soot nucleation.
  • Equilibrium constants for cross-linking of larger PAHs show enhancement from rim bonding.
  • This enhancement is dependent on the reactive edge type and is most noticeable for localised π-radicals.

Graphical abstract The thermodynamics and kinetics of cross-linking reactions between PAHs of various reactive edge types that are observed in soot precursors are explored using density functional theory. The forward rate constants confirm that reactions involving aryl σ-radicals are faster than others, but rate constants for reactions between aryl σ-radicals and localized π-radicals can be as large or even larger than for two aryl σ-radicals. However, rates for all cross-linking reactions between small PAHs are likely too slow to explain soot formation. The equilibrium constants show that reactions involving σ and π-radical PAHs are the most favorable at flame temperatures. Equilibrium constants for larger PAHs show that the ability to form bonded-and-stacked structures results in enhanced equilibrium constants for the reaction of two large localized π-radicals compared to those for other edge types. This suggests that combined physical and chemical interactions between larger π-radical PAHs could be important in flame environments.

Access options

Associated Themes:
  Theme icon Theme icon

*Corresponding author:
Telephone: +44 (0)1223 762784 (Dept) 769010 (CHU)
Address: Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
University of Cambridge
West Cambridge Site
Philippa Fawcett Drive
Cambridge CB3 0AS
United Kingdom
Website: Personal Homepage