Ice-nucleating ability of particulate emissions from solid-biomass-fired cookstoves: An experimental study

Kimmo Korhonen, Thomas Bjerring Kristensen, John Falk, Robert Lindgren, Christina Andersen, Ricardo Luis Carvalho, Vilhelm Malmborg, Axel Eriksson, Christoffer Boman, Joakim Pagels, Birgitta Svenningsson, Mika Komppula, Kari E.J. Lehtinen, Annele Virtanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research was part of the Salutary Umeå Study of Aerosols in Biomass Cookstove Emissions (SUSTAINE) laboratory experiment campaign. We studied ice-nucleating abilities of particulate emissions from solid-fuel-burning cookstoves, using a portable ice nuclei counter, Spectrometer Ice Nuclei (SPIN). These emissions were generated from two traditional cookstove types commonly used for household cooking in sub-Saharan Africa and two advanced gasifier stoves under research to promote sustainable development alternatives. The solid fuels studied included biomass from two different African tree species, Swedish softwood and agricultural residue products relevant to the region. Measurements were performed with a modified version of the standard water boiling test on polydisperse samples from flue gas during burning and size-selected accumulation mode soot particles from a 15 m3 aerosol-storage chamber. The studied soot particle sizes in nanometers were 250, 260, 300, 350, 400, 450 and 500. From this chamber, the particles were introduced to water-supersaturated freezing conditions (-32 to-43 °C) in the SPIN. Accumulation mode soot particles generally produced an ice-activated fraction of 10-3 in temperatures 1-1.5 °C higher than that required for homogeneous freezing at fixed RHw D 115 %. In five special experiments, the combustion performance of one cookstove was intentionally modified. Two of these exhibited a significant increase in the icenucleating ability of the particles, resulting in a 10-3 ice activation at temperatures up to 5.9 °C higher than homogeneous freezing and the observed increased ice-nucleating ability. We investigated six different physico-chemical properties of the emission particles but found no clear correlation between them and increasing ice-nucleating ability. We conclude that the freshly emitted combustion aerosols form ice via immersion and condensation freezing at temperatures only moderately above homogeneous freezing conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4951-4968
Number of pages18
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr 27

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Bioenergy


Dive into the research topics of 'Ice-nucleating ability of particulate emissions from solid-biomass-fired cookstoves: An experimental study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this