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On the role of resonantly stabilized radicals in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) formation: pyrene and fluoranthene formation from benzyl–indenyl addition

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Abstract

Resonantly stabilized radicals, such as propargyl, cyclopentadienyl, benzyl, and indenyl, play a vital role in the formation and growth of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are soot precursors in engines and flames. Pyrene is considered to be an important PAH, as it is thought to nucleate soot particles, but its formation pathways are not well known. This paper presents a reaction mechanism for the formation of four-ring aromatics, pyrene and fluoranthene, through the combination of benzyl and indenyl radicals. The intermediate species and transition structures involved in the elementary reactions of the mechanism were studied using density functional theory, and the reaction kinetics were evaluated using transition state theory. The barrierless addition of benzyl and indenyl to form the adduct, 1-benzyl-1H-indene, was found to be exothermic with a reaction energy of 204.2 kJ mol−1. The decomposition of this adduct through H-abstraction and H2-loss was studied to determine the possible products. The rate-of-production analysis was conducted to determine the most favourable reactions for pyrene and fluoranthene formation. The premixed laminar flames of toluene, ethylbenzene, and benzene were simulated using a well-validated hydrocarbon fuel mechanism with detailed PAH chemistry after adding the proposed reactions to it. The computed and experimentally observed species profiles were compared to determine the effect of the new reactions for pyrene and fluoranthene formation on their concentration profiles. The role of benzyl and indenyl combination in PAH formation and growth is highlighted.

Graphical abstract: On the role of resonantly stabilized radicals in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) formation: pyrene and fluoranthene formation from benzyl–indenyl addition

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Apr 2017, accepted on 27 Jun 2017 and first published on 27 Jun 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP02539D
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, Advance Article
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    On the role of resonantly stabilized radicals in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) formation: pyrene and fluoranthene formation from benzyl–indenyl addition

    S. Sinha, R. K. Rahman and A. Raj, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7CP02539D

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