Micron and sub-micron scale black carbon particulates are a relatively short-lived climate airborne pollutants (though their deposition on arctic ice can have longer term impacts) that is seen by many as the second most important class of anthropogenic climate forcing materials, behind carbon dioxide. Its origins are directly attributable to combustion of hydrocarbons and coal.
Most controlled combustion systems, such as vehicles and power plants, have black carbon mitigation strategies. Some exceptions continue to struggle in this regard. For example, marine transport and bio-derived fuels used in commercial aircraft. There are also uncontrolled combustion systems that are seen as the biggest emitters of black carbon, and these include the natural processes of wildfires (in particular, smoldering combustion) or the industrial process of flaring.
The objective of this project is to understand and model the fundamentals of black carbon formation that can be applied in combustion or pyrolysis situations in order to either mitigate their emissions or to form and capture the black carbon into a valuable material.