Emissions of PAHs from indoor crop residue burning in a typical rural stove: emission factors, size distributions, and gas-particle partitioning

Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Feb 15;45(4):1206-12. doi: 10.1021/es102151w. Epub 2011 Jan 19.


Indoor combustion of crop residues for cooking or heating is one of the most important emission sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in developing countries. However, data on PAH emission factors (EFs) for burning crop residues indoor, particularly those measured in the field, were scarce, leading to large uncertainties in the emission inventories. In this study, EFs of PAHs for nine commonly used crop residues burned in a typical Chinese rural cooking stove were measured in a simulated kitchen. The measured EFs of total PAHs averaged at 63 ± 37 mg/kg, ranging from 27 to 142 mg/kg, which were higher than those measured in chamber experiments, implying that the laboratory experiment-based emission and risk assessment should be carefully reviewed. EFs of gaseous and particulate phase PAHs were 27 ± 13 and 35 ± 23 mg/kg, respectively. Composition profiles and isomer ratios of emitted PAHs were characterized. Stepwise regressions found that modified combustion efficiency and fuel moisture were the most important factors affecting the emissions. There was 80 ± 6% of PAHs associated with PM2.5, and the mass percentage of PAHs in fine particles increased as the molecular weight increased. For freshly emitted PAHs, absorption into organic carbon, rather than adsorption, dominated the gas-particle partitioning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis*
  • China
  • Cooking*
  • Crops, Agricultural
  • Fires
  • Gases
  • Heating
  • Household Articles
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / analysis*
  • Rural Population


  • Gases
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons