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The Nature paper Characterizing particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emissions from diesel vehicles using a portable emissions measurement system addresses polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (p-PAHs) and both the text and the plot below make extended use of short, mixed-case abbreviations for various specific p-PAHs.

Question: Do these refer to some standardized naming convention for p-PAHs? If so, where can this be found?


polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons histogram

Figure 2. Average distance-based emission factors for each p-PAH component according to the engine type.

(electronically-controlled fuel injection (EI) and mechanical pump fuel injection (MI))


For amino acids and nucleic acids for example, standard one- and three-letter abbreviations exist:


Here is an example of a plot where the abbreviations are not used. From Figure 20 of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in automotive exhaust emissions and fuels:

polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons histogram

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    $\begingroup$ Likely for PAH there are indeed common abbreviations, but I don't know how much standardised. I comment just to say that in a paper you can always use acronyms and abbreviations, even for reporting molecules for the first time. Just one need to define each. This is useful to avoid clumsy graphs as well fighting characters limits. In chemistry, very often the abbreviations take even the forms of numerals and alphabetical signs. Some abb are very common, like Ph for phenyl- Ac for acetyl, ecc.... $\endgroup$ – Alchimista Apr 2 at 8:01

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