Pulsed laser heating of diesel engine and turbojet combustor soot: Changes in nanostructure and implications

Randy L. Vander Wal, Madhu Singh, William Bachalo, Greg Payne, Julien Manin, Robert Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Carbonaceous particulate produced by a diesel engine and turbojet engine combustor are analyzed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) for differences in nanostructure before and after pulsed laser annealing. Soot is examined between low/high diesel engine torque and low/high turbojet engine thrust. Small differences in nascent nanostructure are magnified by the action of high-temperature annealing induced by pulsed laser heating. Lamellae length distributions show occurrence of graphitization while tortuosity analyses reveal lamellae straightening. Differences in internal particle structure (hollow shells versus internal graphitic ribbons) are interpreted as due to higher internal sp3 and O-atom content under the higher power conditions with hypothesized greater turbulence and resulting partial premixing. TEM in concert with fringe analyses reveal that a similar degree of annealing occurs in the primary particles in soot from both diesel engine and turbojet engine combustors—despite the aggregate and primary size differences between these sources. Implications of these results for source identification of the combustion particulate and for laser-induced incandescence (LII) measurements of concentration are discussed with inter-instrument comparison of soot mass from both diesel and turbojet soot sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1044-1056
Number of pages13
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pollution

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