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A comparative kinetic study of C8–C10 linear alkylbenzenes pyrolysis in a single-pulse shock tube

Abstract : This work presents a comparative study on the pyrolysis of C 8-C 10 linear alkylbenzenes including ethyl-benzene, n-propylbenzene and n-butylbenzene. Experiments were performed with highly diluted mixtures in argon containing respectively the three fuels under nearly identical conditions in a single-pulse shock tube, at a nominal pressure of 20 bar and over a temperature range of 950-1700 K. Post-shock gas mixtures were sampled and analyzed with the gas chromatographic technique so that species concentration evolutions as function of temperature were obtained for the pyrolysis of each fuel. A kinetic model was developed to interpret the similarities and differences regarding the fuel decomposition and species formation behaviors observed in the experiments. The fuel conversion of n-propylbenzene and n-butylbenzene proceeds along a similar curve, which is much faster than that of ethylbenzene. All three fuels are consumed mainly through the bond fission producing benzyl radical. The simultaneously formed C 1-C 3 alkyl radicals in separate cases significantly impact the fuel reactivity and the formation of small C 1-C 4 and monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Specifically, in n-propylbenzene pyrolysis, the decomposition of ethyl radicals produces a considerable amount of hydrogen atoms, which enhances the reactivity of the reaction system and meanwhile results in relatively high production of benzene during the fuel consumption. The formation of other monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbon intermediates, such as toluene and styrene, is also influenced by fuel-related pathways. Concerning PAH formation, the kinetic schemes in the pyrolysis of linear C 8-C 10 alkylbenzenes are very similar, which are dominated by the reactions of benzyl and other resonantly-stabilized radicals produced from benzyl decomposition. The major PAH formation reactions are barely influenced by the fuel chemistry. The only notable fuel-specific pathway is the indene formation from 1-phenyl-2-propenyl in n-propylbenzene and n-butylbenzene pyrolysis at relatively low temperatures. Styrene is an abundant product and its reaction with phenyl is found to be an important channel of phenanthrene formation.
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Wenyu Sun, Alaa Hamadi, Said Abid, Nabiha Chaumeix, Andrea Comandini. A comparative kinetic study of C8–C10 linear alkylbenzenes pyrolysis in a single-pulse shock tube. Combustion and Flame, Elsevier, 2020, 221, pp.136-149. ⟨10.1016/j.combustflame.2020.07.031⟩. ⟨hal-02928216⟩

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