Singlet-diradical character in large PAHs triggers spontaneous-ignition of coal

Mohammednoor Altarawneh, Ibukun Oluwoye, Bogdan Z. Dlugogorski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Chemical phenomena dictating the spontaneous-ignition of coal remain highly speculative with some of the most intriguing questions appearing unaddressed. In this communication, we deploy a synergistic experimental-theoretical approach to elucidate the definite role of singlet-biradical PAHs in driving the low-temperature oxidation of coal. We establish that, five linearly-fused benzene rings (i.e., pentacene, as a model compound for the PAH content in coal, and an example of short-chain graphene nanoribbons) ignites 200 °C lower than the corresponding temperature for naphthalene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-281
Number of pages3
JournalCombustion and Flame
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • DFT
  • Large PAHs
  • Oxygen
  • spontaneous-ignition of coal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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