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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C516974/1
Title: The Mechanism Of Soot Formation From Hydrocarbons and Biomass and The Formation Of Ultra-Small Soot Particles
Principal Investigator: Jones, Professor JM
Other Investigators:
Pourkashanian, Professor M Williams, Professor A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr RI backreedy Dr AB Ross
Project Partners:
Department: Energy Resources Research Unit
Organisation: University of Leeds
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 June 2005 Ends: 30 November 2007 Value (£): 285,784
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Bioenergy Combustion
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
15 Feb 2005 Engineering Systems Panel Deferred
Summary on Grant Application Form
K. SummaryDescribe the proposed research using (about 200) words geared to the non-specialist reader.smoke arises from anthropogenic combustion processes, but a very important contribution to the global atmosphere is from forest fires and agricult ning. Investigation and analysis of the aerosol particulate matter is of great importance because of the effects on human health, visibility, a I climate change. The polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) found in soot are particularly toxic carcinogens and are listed by the United StatesEnvironmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the European Community as priority pollutants. Biomass-generated smoke. is already a major probl in certain countries, and its contribution from power-generation will grow because biomass is expected to play an increasing role in energy production Indeed The Royal Commission in Environmental Pollution has recently predicted a substantial growth in biomass fired power plant. This will result ii large increase in smoke emitted into the atmosphere or the formation of soots and tars during chemical processing. Surprisingly little attention has been devoted to the detailed nature of biomass smoke or the mechanism of formation and it has been assumed to be similar to hydrocarbon smoke We have undertaken preliminary studies that show that this is not so and it contains a considerable amount of oxygenated compounds.Whilst two classes of high molecular weight hydrocarbons can be identified in hydrocarbon flames: polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and the fuller( species much of the soot remains as unresolved and so far unanalyzable material and the types of species obtained depends on the fuel and the flat conditions. The initial soots formed are carbonised in the post flame reaction zone and are emitted as semi-ordered or graphitised species. Their effects on health and on atmospheric chemistry depend on the nature of their conversion from young soot to reacted soot. We have undertaken a previous studies of these materials and the object of this proposal is an extension of this work to examine the unknown species.The programme of work outlined in this proposal seeks to obtain fundamental information on the mechanism of PAH formation and growth, as well a: the inception of soot formation in both cases. Of particular interest is the identification of factors which influence the route to PAH or fullerenes on the one hand, or amophous soot on the other. It also seeks to identify the uniques oxygenated species present in biomass soot, and how these contribution to the biomass soot formation mechanism.The reactions of these compounds can be modelled using ab initio and molecular modelling to examine the relative stabilities and energetics of reactions. The modelling programme Gaussian03 is ideal software for investigating this problem and we have some experience in using this prograrr The research proposal offers a way of integrating detailed analytical methods with modelling techniques to give substantial new information into the nature of soot and possibly new ways to control the formation of the small particles. In particular it can give information about their size and shape a well as information on the number of free electrons and their distribution; this information can be vital for control purposes on one hand and give an insight on health effects on the other.
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Organisation Website: http://www.leeds.ac.uk