Influence of fuel-oxygen content on morphology and nanostructure of soot particles

Puneet Verma, Edmund Pickering, Mohammad Jafari, Yi Guo, Svetlana Stevanovic, Joseph F.S. Fernando, Dmitri Golberg, Peter Brooks, Richard Brown, Zoran Ristovski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


The share of biofuels in the fuel market has increased over the last several decades. This is related to their potential to reduce the emissions including particulate matter. It has been frequently reported that the fuel oxygen content is the main reason for the reduction in particulate matter emissions. To understand the effect of fuel oxygen content on morphology and nanostructure characteristics of soot particles, different fuels such as diesel, coconut biodiesel and triacetin were tested in a diesel engine with various mixing proportions. The fuel blending was done in such a way that overall oxygen content of fuel was kept in range of 0% to 14% (wt.%). The soot particles were sampled from the engine exhaust system and analysed with a transmission electron microscope (TEM) at low and high spatial resolution. The TEM images were post-processed with the help of an in-house developed image analysis program to determine the morphology and nanostructure characteristics. The results show that oxygenated fuel blends emit smaller sized soot particles forming compact aggregates. The investigation of the internal structure of soot particles show disordered arrangement of graphene layers for fuels up to 11.01% fuel oxygen content (pure biodiesel); however, the opposite trend was observed for fuel blends with triacetin which could be related to the presence of oxygen in a different chemical functional group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-219
Number of pages14
JournalCombustion and Flame
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


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