Decomposition of aromatic amines in a jet fuel surrogate

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Chemistry


Department of Chemistry


Advisor: David W. Johnson


The thermal decomposition of aromatic nitrogen containing compounds in a jet fuel surrogate was studied. The surrogate fuel's decomposition was compared to the decomposition found in natural jet fuels. Then high performance liquid chromatography was used to examine the formation of any polar products from the thermal decomposition of the surrogate fuel. Gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance were employed to try and identify the polar products. The large amount of hydrocarbons masking the polar products made fractional collection necessary before any identification could be attempted. After fractional collections were employed several oxygen polar compounds were found and identified from the thermal decomposition of the surrogate fuel. However no nitrogen-containing compounds could be found. This is most likely due to the low concentration of the nitrogen-containing compounds within the surrogate. Due to the effectiveness of the surrogate fuel's thermal decomposition it remains a good candidate for further jet fuel studies that look at reactivity. HPLC was also very effective at observing the formation of polar products within the jet fuel, although it could not identify these products. The fractional collection method that was employed did improve the results of the identification process, but it did not manage enough separation between the polar compounds and the hydrocarbons present in the surrogate. It is likely that a further separation method is needed. GCMS was relatively ineffective at separating and identifying polar products from this reaction. This is due to the bulk hydrocarbons masking the polar product signals. GCMS was able to identify a oxygen-containing compound, but only because the elution point from this compound was far from the elution point of any hydrocarbon. NMR was effective at identifying polar compounds that were present in significant quantities, however the extremely low concentration of the polar products made this process much less effective as well. Overall for GCMS or NMR to be considered effective techniques for this analysis a better separation process must be utilized.


Jet planes Fuel, Synthetic fuels Thermal properties, Nitrogen compounds, Chemistry, jet fuels, jet fuel decomposition, nitrogen contaminants in jet fuels, polar products from jet fuel decomposition, jet fuel separation techniques

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Copyright © 2014, author