Characterization of soot aerosol produced from combustion of propane in a shock tube

Alexei F. Khalizov, Brian Hogan, Chong Qiu, Eric L. Petersen, Renyi Zhang

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29 Scopus citations


The knowledge of yields and properties of soot from combustion of hydrocarbon fuels is crucial for accurate evaluation of the impacts of primary aerosols on air quality and climate. This study presents measurements of soot generated from combustion of propane in a shock tube, using independently adjustable fuel equivalence ratio (φ), temperature, and pressure. The characterization of soot yields inside the shock tube by in situ laser extinction is complemented with a set of comprehensive measurements of soot transferred into a fluoropolymer chamber, including particle size distributions, elemental carbon (EC) mass fraction, effective density, mass fractal dimension (Dfm), dynamic shape factor (χ), and optical properties. The properties of soot particles and the soot yield are sensitive to combustion conditions and the duration of the combustion experiment. High-temperature combustion with φ= 2.5 produces small fractal (Dfm = 2) soot particles composed mainly of EC (up to 90%), at a low mass yield. Particles from lower temperature combustion contain a significant fraction of organic material (∼50%). Using rich fuel mixtures ( φ= 4.0 and 8.0) significantly increases particle size and soot mass yield. At lower temperatures, compact (Dfm = 3) and nearly spherical ( χ= 1.1) aggregates with high organic content are formed, whereas at higher temperatures, the particles are fractal and closely resemble those obtained using φ= 2.5. Single scattering albedo (SSA) varies from 0.15 for fractal particles to 0.75 for compact particles. For soot generated at high equivalence ratios, SSA can be used as a proxy for particle morphology and EC content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-936
Number of pages12
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Pollution


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