Particulate PAH Emissions from Residential Biomass Combustion: Time-Resolved Analysis with Aerosol Mass Spectrometry

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Abstract

Time-resolved emissions of particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and total organic particulate matter (OA) from a wood log stove and an adjusted pellet stove were investigated with high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometry (ANIS). The highest OA emissions were found during the addition of log wood on glowing embers, that is, slow burning pyrolysis conditions. These emissions contained about 1% PAHs (of OA). The highest PAH emissions were found during fast burning under hot air starved combustion conditions, in both stoves. In the latter case, PAHs contributed up to 40% of OA, likely due to thermal degradation of other condensable species. The distribution of PAHs was also shifted toward larger molecules in these emissions. ANIS signals attributed to PAHs were found at molecular weights up to 600 Da. The vacuum aerodynamic size distribution was found to be bimodal with a smaller mode (D-va similar to 200 nm) dominating under hot air starved combustion and a larger sized mode dominating under slow burning pyrolysis (D-va similar to 600 nm). Simultaneous reduction of PAHs, OA and total particulate matter from residential biomass combustion may prove to be a challenge for environmental legislation efforts as these classes of emissions are elevated at different combustion conditions.

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  • Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7143-7150
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Volume48
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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