Emission factors and particulate matter size distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from residential coal combustions in rural Northern China

Atmos Environ (1994). 2010 Dec 1;44(39):5737-5743. doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2010.08.042.


Coal consumption is one important contributor to energy production, and is regarded as one of the most important sources of air pollutants that have considerable impacts on human health and climate change. Emissions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from coal combustion were studied in a typical stove. Emission factors (EFs) of 16 EPA priority PAHs from tested coals ranged from 6.25 ± 1.16 mg kg-1 (anthracite) to 253 ± 170 mg kg-1 (bituminous), with NAP and PHE dominated in gaseous and particulate phases, respectively. Size distributions of particulate phase PAHs from tested coals showed that they were mostly associated with particulate matter (PM) with size either between 0.7 and 2.1 μm or less than 0.4 μm (PM0.4). In the latter category, not only were more PAHs present in PM0.4, but also contained higher fractions of high molecular weight PAHs. Generally, there were more than 89% of total particulate phase PAHs associated with PM2.5. Gas-particle partitioning of freshly emitted PAHs from residential coal combustions were thought to be mainly controlled by absorption rather than adsorption, which is similar to those from other sources. Besides, the influence of fuel properties and combustion conditions was further investigated by using stepwise regression analysis, which indicated that almost 57 ± 10% of total variations in PAH EFs can be accounted for by moisture and volatile matter content of coal in residential combustion.

Keywords: Emission factors; PAHs; Residential coal combustion; Size distribution.