Formation of Noncovalent Complexes between Complex Mixtures of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (Asphaltenes) and Substituted Aromatics Studied by Fluorescence Spectroscopy

Tabinah Faisal, Kyril M. Solntsev, Tim Kahs, Na'il Saleh, Patrick Commins, Jamie Whelan, Sharmarke Mohamed, Panče Naumov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Quantification of the formation of molecular complexes between simple organic aromatic molecules is straightforward for pure components of definite composition; however, it becomes challenging when the interacting species are complex, intractable mixtures of thousands of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Using the example of asphaltenes, a complex mixture of oil-derived PAHs, we demonstrate the potential of fluorescence spectroscopy for quantification of molecular processes that are at the core of their aggregation. It is found that small electron-deficient aromatic additives, especially surfactant-like additives with electron-withdrawing functional groups, interact strongly with the PAHs and lead to the formation of molecular complexes. Computational modeling revealed that as we increase the number of PAH molecules in the cluster, cohesive π-πstacking interactions between PAHs dominate in preference to adhesive hydrogen bonding or π-πstacking interactions between the PAHs and additives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8742-8755
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Volume35
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 20 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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