Effect of fuels and domestic heating appliance types on emission factors of selected organic pollutants

Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Nov 1;45(21):9427-34. doi: 10.1021/es2017945. Epub 2011 Oct 12.


This study reports on the first complex data set of emission factors (EFs) of selected pollutants from combustion of five fuel types (lignite, bituminous coal, spruce, beech, and maize) in six different domestic heating appliances of various combustion designs. The effect of fuel as well as the effect of boiler type was studied. In total, 46 combustion runs were performed, during which numerous EFs were measured, including the EFs of particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), hexachlorobenzene (HxCBz), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PCDD/F), etc. The highest EFs of nonchlorinated pollutants were measured for old-type boilers with over-fire and under-fire designs and with manual stoking and natural draft. Emissions of the above-mentioned pollutants from modern-type boilers (automatic, downdraft) were 10 times lower or more. The decisive factor for emission rate of nonchlorinated pollutants was the type of appliance; the type of fuel plays only a minor role. Emissions of chlorinated pollutants were proportional mainly to the chlorine content in fuel, but the type of appliance also influenced the rate of emissions significantly. Surprisingly, higher EFs of PCDD/F from combustion of chlorinated bituminous coal were observed for modern-type boilers (downdraft, automatic) than for old-type ones. On the other hand, when bituminous coal was burned, higher emissions of HxCBz were found for old-type boilers than for modern-type ones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Benzofurans / analysis
  • Energy-Generating Resources*
  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Heating*
  • Incineration
  • Organic Chemicals / analysis
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / analysis
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / analogs & derivatives
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / analysis
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / analysis


  • Air Pollutants
  • Benzofurans
  • Organic Chemicals
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls