Professor Murray Thomson’s Google Scholar Profile.

Only recent publications, i.e. since 2007, are listed below.

Formation Processes of Carbon Particles


Carbon particle emissions (i.e. soot) have a large impact on air quality and climate change. This research seeks to improve our understanding of the fundamental physical and chemical processes involved in the formation of carbon particles especially soot. Recent work has combined sophisticated aerosol dynamics models with detailed chemistry models to develop models of the aggregate structure of soot particles, soot inception, soot nucleation, and the internal nano structure of soot particles.



  1. M. R. Kholghy, Y. Afarin, A. D. Sediako, J. Barba, M. Lapuerta, C. Chu, J. Weingarten, B. Borshanpour, V. Chernov, M. J. Thomson, “Comparison of Multiple Diagnostic Techniques to Study Soot Formation and Morphology in a Diffusion Flame”, Combustion and Flame, in press, 176, 567-583, 2017.
  1. M. R. Kholghy, J. Weingarten, A. D. Sediako, J. Barba, M. Lapuerta, M. J. Thomson”Structural effects of biodiesel on soot formation in a laminar coflow diffusion flame”, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, in Press, 2016.
  2. A. Sediako, C. Soong, J. Howe, M. R. Kholghy,  M. J. Thomson,”Real-Time Observation of Soot Aggregate Oxidation in an Environmental Transmission Electron Microscope”,Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, in Press, 2016.
  3. N. A. Eaves, S. B. Dworkin, M. J. Thomson, “Assessing relative contributions of PAHs to soot mass by reversible heterogeneous nucleation and condensation”, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, in Press, 2016.
  4. T. Zhang, L. Zhao, M. J. Thomson, “Effects of n-propylbenzene addition to n-dodecane on soot formation and aggregate structure in a laminar coflow diffusion flame”, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, in Press, 2016.
  5. M. R. Kholghy, A. Veshkini, M. J. Thomson, “The core-shell internal nanostructure of soot- a criterion to model soot maturity”, Carbon, 100, 508-536, 2016.
  6. A. Veshkini, N. Eaves, S. B. Dworkin, M. J. Thomson, “Application of PAH-Condensation Reversibility in Modeling Soot Growth in Laminar Premixed and Nonpremixed Flames”, Combustion and Flame, 2016
  7. A. Veshkini, S. B. Dworkin, M. J. Thomson, “Understanding Soot Particle Size Evolution in Laminar Ethylene/Air Diffusion Flames Using Novel Soot Coalescence Models”, Combustion Theory and Modelling, 2016
  8. B. Shahriari, M. J. Thomson and S. B. Dworkin, “Development and Validation of a Partially Coupled Soot Model for Turbulent Kerosene Combustion in View of Application to Gas Turbines”, Paper No. GT2015-43063, pp. V04BT04A003; 12 pages, doi:10.1115/GT2015-43063. ASME Turbo Expo 2015: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  9. A. Khosousi, F. Liu, S. B. Dworkin, N. A. Eaves, M. J. Thomson, X. He, Y. Dai, S. Shuai, J. Wang, “Experimental and Numerical Study of Soot Formation in Laminar Coflow Diffusion Flames of Gasoline/Ethanol Blends,” has been accepted for publication in Combustion and Flame. 162, 3925-3933, 2015.
  10. M. Kholghy, J. Weingarten, M. J. Thomson, “A Study of the Effects of the Ester Moiety on Soot Formation and Species Concentrations in a Laminar Coflow Diffusion Flame of a Surrogate for B100 Biodiesel” Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 35:1787–1794, 2015.
  11. N. Eaves, S. B. Dworkin, M. J. Thomson, “The Importance of Reversibility in Modeling Soot Nucleation and Condensation Processes,” Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 35:1787–1794, 2015.
  12. J. Cain, A. Laskin. M. Kholghy, M. Thomson, H. Wang, “Molecular Characterization of Organic Content of Soot along the Centerline of a Coflow Diffusion Flame” published in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, DOI: 10.1039/c4cp03330b, 2014.
  13. A. Veshkini, S. B. Dworkin, M. J. Thomson, “A Soot Particle Surface Reactivity Model Applied to a Wide Range of Laminar Ethylene/Air Flames,” Combustion and Flame, 161:3191–3200, 2014
  14. M. Saffaripour, A. Veshkini, M. Kholghy, and M.J. Thomson; “Experimental Investigation and Detailed Modeling of Soot Aggregate Formation and Size Distribution in Laminar Coflow Diffusion Flames of Jet A-1, a Synthetic Kerosene, and n-Decane”, Combustion and Flame, 161:848–863, 2014. Listed by Elsevier as one of the most downloaded articles published in 2014 in Combustion and Flame.
  15. V. Chernov, M.J. Thomson, S.B. Dworkin, N.A. Slavinskaya, U. Riedel, “Soot formation with C1 and C2 fuels using an improved chemical mechanism for PAH growth”, Combustion and Flame, 161:592–601, 2014.
  16. N.A. Eaves, M.J. Thomson & S.B. Dworkin; “The Effect of Conjugate Heat Transfer on Soot Formation Modelling at Elevated Pressures”; Combust. Sci. Technol, 185:1799-1819, 2013.
  17. M. Kholghy, M. Saffaripour, C. Yip, M.J. Thomson, “The Evolution of Soot Morphology in an Atmospheric Laminar Coflow Diffusion Flame of a Surrogate for Jet A-1”, Combustion and Flame, 160:2119–2130, 2013.
  18. M. Saffaripour, M. Kholghy, S. B. Dworkin, M. J. Thomson, “A Numerical and Experimental Study of Soot Formation in a Laminar Coflow Diffusion Flame of a Jet A-1 Surrogate”, Proc. Combust. Inst., 34:1057-1065, 2013.
  19. F. Liu, S. B. Dworkin, M. J. Thomson, and G. J. Smallwood, “Modeling DME Addition Effects To Fuel On PAH and Soot In Laminar Coflow Ethylene/Air Diffusion Flames Using Two PAH Mechanisms” Combust. Sci. Technol., 184:966–979, 2012.
  20. N.A. Eaves, A. Veshkini, C. Riese, Q. Zhang, S.B. Dworkin, M.J. Thomson, “A numerical study of high pressure, laminar, sooting, ethane-air coflow diffusion flames” Combustion and Flame, 159:3179-3190, 2012.
  21. V. Chernov, Q. Zhang, M.J. Thomson and S.B. Dworkin, “Numerical investigation of soot formation mechanisms in partially-premixed ethylene-air coflow flames” Combustion and Flame, 159:2789-2798, 2012.
  22. N.A. Slavinskaya, Uwe Riedel, S.B. Dworkin, M.J. Thomson, “ Detailed Numerical Modelling of PAH Formation and Growth in Non-Premixed Ethylene and Ethane Flames” Combustion and Flame, 159:979-995, 2012
  23. M. Saffaripour, P. Zabeti, M. Kholghy, and M.J. Thomson, “An Experimental Comparison of the Sooting Behavior of Synthetic Jet Fuels” Energy & Fuels, 25:5584-5593, 2011.
  24. S.B. Dworkin, Q. Zhang, M.J. Thomson, N.A. Slavinskaya and U. Riedel “Application of an Enhanced PAH Growth Model to Soot Formation in a Laminar Coflow Ethylene/Air Diffusion Flame” Combustion and Flame, 158:1682-1695, 2011. List by Elsevier as one of the 25 “Most Read Combustion and Flame Articles”
  25. F. Liu, X. He, X. Ma, S. Shuai, J. Wang, Q. Zhang, M. J. Thomson, H. Guo, and G. J. Smallwood, “An Experimental and Numerical Study of the Effects of Dimethyl Ether Addition to Fuel on Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon and Soot Formation in Laminar Coflow Ethylene/Air Diffusion Flames” Combustion and Flame, 158:547-563, 2011
  26. M. Saffaripour, P. Zabeti, S. B. Dworkin, Q. Zhang, H. Guo, F. Liu, G. J. Smallwood and M. J. Thomson, “A Numerical and Experimental Study of a Laminar Sooting Coflow Jet-A1 Diffusion Flame”, Proc. Combust. Inst., 33:601-608, 2011.
  27. Q. Zhang, M. J. Thomson, H. Guo, F. Liu, G. J. Smallwood, “Development And Implementation Of Oxidation-Driven Soot Aggregate Fragmentation Models Into A Laminar Coflow Diffusion Flame”, Combustion Science and Technology, 182: 1–14, 2010.
  28. Q. Zhang, M. J. Thomson, H. Guo, F. Liu and G. J. Smallwood,” A numerical study of soot aggregate formation in a laminar coflow diffusion flame” Combustion and Flame, 156:697-705, 2009.
  29. Q. Zhang, H. Guo, F. Liu, G.J. Smallwood and M. J. Thomson, “Modeling of soot aggregate formation and size distribution in a laminar ethylene/air coflow diffusion flame with detailed PAH chemistry and an advanced sectional aerosol dynamics model” Proc. Combust. Inst., 32: 761-768, 2009
  30. Q. Zhang, Thomson, M.J., Guo, H., Liu, F., and Smallwood G. J. “Implementation of a fixed sectional aerosol dynamics model with soot aggregate formation in a laminar axisymmetric coflow methane/air diffusion flame” Combustion Theory and Modeling,12: 621–641, 2008.

Combustion Chemistry of Biofuels


Our research group has developed chemical kinetic models of several biofuels including the first validated mechanisms of butanol and biodiesel surrogates (methyl butanoate, methyl octanoate, methyl decanoate). These mechanisms are an essential input to engine models.


  1. Jeffrey M Bergthorson, Murray J Thomson, “A review of the combustion and emissions properties of advanced transportation biofuels and their impact on existing and future engines”, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 42:1393-1417, 2015.
  2. C. Yeung and M.J. Thomson, “Experimental and kinetic modeling study of 1-hexanol combustion in an opposed-flow diffusion flame” Proc. Combust. Inst., 34:795-802, 2013.
  3. S.M. Sarathy, U. Niemann, C. Yeung, R. Gehmlich, C.K. Westbrook, M. Plomer, Z. Luo, M. Mehl, W.J. Pitz, K. Seshadri, M.J. Thomson, T. Lu “A counterflow diffusion flame study of branched octane isomers” Proc. Combust. Inst., 34:1015-1023, 2013.
  4. S.M. Sarathy, M.J. Thomson, W.J. Pitz and T. Lu, “An Experimental and Kinetic Modeling Study of Methyl Decanoate Combustion” Proc. Combust. Inst., 33:399-405, 2011.
  5. G. Dayma, S. M. Sarathy, C. Togbé, C. Yeung, M. J. Thomson, and P. Dagaut, “Experimental and kinetic modeling of methyl octanoate oxidation in an opposed-flow diffusion flame and a jet-stirred reactor”, Proc. Combust. Inst., 33: 1037-1043, 2011.
  6. Sarathy, S.M., Yeung, C., Westbrook, C.K., Pitz, W.J., Mehl, M., Thomson, M.J. “An experimental and kinetic modeling study of n-octane and 2-methylheptane in an opposed flow diffusion flame” Combustion and Flame, 158:1277-1287, 2011.
  7. S.M. Sarathy, M.J. Thomson, C. Togbé, P. Dagaut, F. Halter, C. Mounaim-Rousselle “An Experimental And Kinetic Modeling Study of n-Butanol Combustion” Combustion and Flame, 156: 852-864, 2009. Listed by Elsevier as one of the most cited articles published between 2011 and 2006 in Combustion and Flame
  8. P. Dagaut, S. M. Sarathy, and M. J. Thomson, “A Chemical Kinetic Study of n-Butanol Oxidation at Elevated Pressure in a Jet Stirred Reactor” Proc. Combust. Inst., 32:229–237, 2009. Listed by Elsevier as one of the most cited articles published between 2007 and 2012 in Proc. Combust. Inst.
  9. S. Gaïl, S. M. Sarathy, M.J. Thomson, P. Diévart and P. Dagaut, “Experimental and Chemical Kinetic Modeling Study of Small Methyl Esters Oxidation: Methyl (E)-2-Butaenoate and Methyl Butanoate” Combustion and Flame, 155: 635-650, 2008
  10. S. M. Sarathy, S. Gail, S. A. Syed, M.J. Thomson and P. Dagaut “A Comparison of Saturated and Unsaturated C4 Fatty Acid Methyl Esters in an Opposed-Flow Diffusion Flame and a Jet Stirred Reactor” Proc. Combust. Inst., 31: 1015-1022, 2007 Listed by Elsevier as one of the most cited articles published between 2007 and 2012 in Proc. Combust. Inst.
  11. S. Gaïl, M.J. Thomson, S. M. Sarathy, S. A. Syed, P. Dagaut, Pascal Diévart, A. J. Marchese, and F. L. Dryer “A wide-ranging kinetic modeling study of methyl butanoate combustion” Proc. Combust. Inst., 31: 305-311, 2007 Listed by Elsevier as one of the most cited articles published between 2007 and 2012 in Proc. Combust. Inst.

Combustion of Bio-oil


Our research group has studied the combustion of bio-oil (i.e. biomass derived pyrolysis liquids) with particular attention to pollution formation. One paper identified the relationship between fuel chemical structure and pollutant emissions. The ultimate goal of developing a bio-oil fueled micro-cogen Stirling engine was achieved.


  1. M. Zarghami, T. Tzanetakis, Y. Afarin, MJ. Thomson , “Effects of Fuel Aging on the Combustion Performance and Emissions of a Pyrolysis Liquid Biofuel and Ethanol Blend in a Swirl Burner”, Energy and Fuels, Accepted, 2016.
  2. S. Moloodi, T. Tzanetakis, B. Nguyen, M. Zarghami-Tehran, U. Khan and M.J. Thomson, “Fuel Property Effects on the Combustion Performance and Emissions of Hardwood Derived Fast Pyrolysis Liquid-Ethanol Blends in a Swirl Burner” Energy and Fuels, 26:5452-5461, 2012.
  3. N. Farra, T. Tzanetakis and M.J. Thomson, “Experimental Determination of the Efficiency and Emissions of a Residential Microcogeneration System Based on a Stirling Engine and Fueled by Diesel and Ethanol” Energy & Fuels, 26:889-900, 2012.
  4. T.Tzanetakis, S. Moloodi, N. Farra, B. Nguyen, A. McGrath, M.J. Thomson, “Comparison of the Spray Combustion Characteristics and Emissions of a Wood-Derived Fast Pyrolysis Liquid-Ethanol Blend with Number 2 and Number 4 Fuel Oils in a Pilot-Stabilized Swirl Burner” Energy & Fuels, 25:4305-4321, 2011.
  5. T. Tzanetakis, S. Moloodi, N. Farra, B. Nguyen and M.J. Thomson “Spray Combustion and Particulate Matter Emissions of a Wood Derived Fast Pyrolysis Liquid-Ethanol Blend in a Pilot Stabilized Swirl Burner” Energy & Fuels, 25:1405-1422, 2011
  6. Tzanetakis, Tommy; Farra, Nicolas; Moloodi, Sina; Lamont, Warren; McGrath, Arran; Thomson, Murray, “Spray combustion characteristics and gaseous emissions of biomass fast pyrolysis liquid (bio-oil) in a swirl stabilized burner”, Energy & Fuels, 24:5331–5348, 2010.
  7. A.A. Aliabadi, J.S. Wallace and M.J. Thomson, “ Efficiency analysis of residential micro cogeneration systems” Energy and Fuels, 24:1704–1710, 2010
  8. Elham Karimi, Cedric Briens, Franco Berutti, Sina Moloodi, Tommy Tzanetakis, Murray Thomson, Marcel Schlaf “Red Mud as a Catalyst for the Upgrading of Hemp Seed Pyrolysis Bio-Oil” Energy & Fuels, 24:6586-6600, 2010.
  9. A. Aliabadi, M. J. Thomson, J.S. Wallace, T. Tzanetakis, W. Lamont, and J. Di Carlo, “Efficiency and Emissions Measurement of a Stirling Engine-Based Residential Micro-Cogeneration System Run on Diesel and Biodiesel”, Energy and Fuels, 23:1032-1039, 2009.
  10. T. Tzanetakis, N. Ashgriz, D.F. James and M.J. Thomson “Liquid Fuel Properties of Hardwood Derived Bio-Oil”, Energy and Fuels, 22:2725–2733, 2008.

In-situ Combustion Measurements using Optical Techniques


This research has developed new in-situ optical techniques to measure species, temperatures and particle emissivity in high temperature gases. These measurements enable improved process control of industrial furnaces. This work has made both scientific and practical advances in the field. Four projects have resulted in patents, technology transfer agreements and are being commercialized with Canadian companies.


  1. Tongfeng Zhang and Murray J. Thomson. “Development of an improved data analysis approach for combined laser extinction and two-angle elastic light scattering diagnostics of soot aggregates“, Applied Optics,  Vol. 55, Issue 4, pp. 920-928, (2016)doi: 10.1364/AO.55.000920
  2.  R. Song, Z. Wang, J. Loh, M.J Thomson, “Experimental investigation on new absorption peaks of water vapor at high temperatures using terahertz spectroscopy“, 39th International Conference on Infrared, Millimeter, and Terahertz waves (IRMMW-THz), IEEE, 1-2, 2014
  3.  A. Padmanabhan, T.Tzanetakis, M.J.Thomson, A. Chanda “Study of pressure broadening effects of H2 on CO2 and CO in the near infrared region between 6317 and 6335 cm-1 at room temperature”  Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 133:81–90, 2014.
  4. Thiebaud, J., M.J. Thomson, R. Mani, W.H. Morrow, E.A. Morris, and C.Q. Jia, “In-situ Optical Absorption Mercury Continuous Emission Monitor”, Environmental Science and Technology, 43:9294-9299, 2009.
  5. S. Rego-Barcena, R. Mani, K. Yang, R. Saari and M.J. Thomson “Real time, optical measurement of gas temperature and particle emissivity in a full-scale basic oxygen furnace” Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B, 40:158-168, 2009.
  6. Rego, S. and M.J. Thomson, “Particle effects on the emissivity and temperature of optically-thick, mixed media retrieved by mid-IR emission spectroscopy” Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 109:1325-1334, 2008.
  7. S. Rego, R. Saari, R. Mani, S. El-Batroukh and M.J. Thomson, “Real time, non-intrusive measurement of particle emissivity and gas temperature in coal-fired power plants” Meas. Sci. Technol. 18:3479-3488, 2007.

Additional Refereed Journal Publications


  1.  T. Tzanetakis, P. Singh, J. Chen, M. J. Thomson and C.R. Koch “Knock Limit Prediction via Multi-Zone Modeling of a Primary Reference Fuel HCCI Engine”, International Journal of Vehicle Design, 54:47-72, 2010.
  2. Boutazakhti, M., Sullivan, P.E., Thomson, M.J., and Yimer, I. “Flow Downstream of a Cluster of Nine jets” Journal of Fluids Engineering-Transactions of the ASME, 129:541-550, 2007
  3. Cathy K.W. Ng and Murray J. Thomson “Modeling of the Effect of Fuel Reforming and EGR on the Acceptable Operating Range of an Ethanol HCCI Engine” International Journal of Vehicle Design, 44: 107-123, 2007.

Patents, Invention Disclosures and Technology Licensing Agreements


1. Vittorio Scipolo, Ovidiu Negru; Murray Thomson, Carlos Martinez, Pierre SullivanOptical Off-gas Flow Meter for Energy Optimization in Industrial Furnaces:

  • Technology License Agreement with Tenova Goodfellow Inc, Nov, 2010
  • International Patent Applications:   US: P25511,  April 20112.

2. Thiebaud, Jérôme; Thomson, Murray J.; Morrow, William H. And Mani, Reza, Apparatus for Continuous In Situ Monitoring of Elemental Mercury Vapour, and Method of Using Same

  • Invention Assignment, March 2, 2009
  • International Patent Applications: PCT/CA2009/000302:March 11, 2009/WO 2010/102375: Sept. 16, 2010/US: P52711,Nov. 2011/Canada:                                         Nov. 2011/China: 200980159238.6,Nov. 11, 2011/
  •    Technology License Agreement with Resonance Inc., Sept. 4, 2009

3. Thomson, Murray J., Nikkari, Jason J., Mackay, Gervase I., and Chanda, Alak, Method and Apparatus for Improve Process Control in Combustion Applications”,

  • Technology License Agreement with Innovations Foundation and Unisearch Associates, April 11, 2002 transferred to Tenova Goodfellow Inc in 2011.
  • Canadian Patent #2351792: issued July 7, 2010
  • United States Patent #7,217,121: issued May 15, 2007.



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