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Title: Characterisation of soot produced on combustion of biomass and fossil fuel proxy compounds
Author: Wilson, Jacqueline Mary
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 1980
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
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Particulates in the atmosphere can have a significant effect on human health and climate. Combustion is a major source of atmospheric particulates and primarily originates from the burning of fossil fuels and biomass. This work concentrates on the combustion of three compounds; n-decane to represent hydrocarbon fossil fuels, eugenol to represent the lignin component of biomass and furfural to represent the holocellulose component of biomass. The use of proxy compounds eliminates contaminants found in natural biomass samples and results can later be applied to studies of more complex structures. Combustion is carried out using a diffusion type burner and analysis techniques include the use of two single particle mass spectrometers (ATOFMS and SPLAT) and an SMPS. Results are presented for the analysis of soot generated by combustion of the named fuels. Fractal dimension values of n-decane and eugenol soot decrease by approximately 10% from early to late stage combustion indicating an increase in the irregularity of particle shape but furfural soot values increase by 4% indicating a small increase in particle sphericity. Comparison of soot produced by the three fuels reveals significant differences in the molecular structure of their P AHs; n-decane soot is dominated by 4-ring P AHs and their alkyl derivatives, eugenol soot is dominated by 4-ring P AHs and ions with larger mJz values separated by 12 and 24 amu, and furfural soot is dominated by 3-ring and 4-ring PAHs and their alkyl derivatives. Results show that the specific processes to form P AHs from each fuel are not identical but there are similarities and they could be explained by a number of soot formation pathways with a different contribution from each pathway for each fuel. No evidence is found of oxygenated compounds in the soot from any fuel.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available