The oxidized soot surface: Theoretical study of desorption mechanisms involving oxygenated functionalities and comparison with temperature programed desorption experiments

Barco, Gianluca; Maranzana, Andrea; Ghigo, Giovanni; Causà, Mauro; Tonachini, Glauco
November 2006
Journal of Chemical Physics;11/21/2006, Vol. 125 Issue 19, p194706
Academic Journal
The desorption mechanism for oxygenated functionalities on soot is investigated by quantum mechanical calculations on functionalized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) models and compared with recently published temperature programed desorption-mass spectrometry results. Substituents on PAHs of increasing size (up to 46 carbon atoms in the parent PAH) are chosen to reproduce the local features of an oxidized graphenic soot platelet. Initially, the study is carried out on unimolecular fragmentation (extrusion, in some cases) processes producing HO, CO, or CO2, in model ketones, carboxylic acids, lactones, anhydrides, in one aldehyde, one peroxyacid, one hydroperoxide, one secondary alcohol, and one phenol. Then, a bimolecular process is considered for one of the carboxylic acids. Furthermore, some cooperative effect which can take place by involving two vicinal carboxylic groups (derived from anhydride hydrolysis) is investigated for other four bifunctionalized models. The comparison between the computed fragmentation (desorption) barriers for the assessed mechanisms and the temperature at which maxima occur in TPD spectra (for HO, CO, or CO2 desorption) offers a suggestion for the assignment of these maxima to specific functional groups, i.e., a key to the description of the oxidized surface. Notably, the computations suggest that (1) the desorption mode from a portion of a graphenic platelet functionalized by a carboxylic or lactone groups is significantly dependent from the chemical and geometric local environment. Consequently, we propose that (2) not all carboxylic groups go lost at the relatively low temperatures generally stated, and (3) lactone groups can be identified as producing not only CO2 but also CO.


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