Short Communication: Emission of Oxygenated Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons from Biomass Pellet Burning in a Modern Burner for Cooking in China

Atmos Environ (1994). 2012 Dec 1;60:234-237. doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.06.067.


Biomass pellets are undergoing fast deployment widely in the world, including China. To this stage, there were limited studies on the emissions of various organic pollutants from the burning of those pellets. In addition to parent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, oxygenated PAHs (oPAHs) have been received increased concerns. In this study, emission factors of oPAHs (EFoPAHs) were measured for two types of pellets made from corn straw and pine wood, respectively. Two combustion modes with (mode II) and without (mode I) secondary side air supply in a modern pellet burner were investigated. For the purpose of comparison, EFoPAHs for raw fuels combusted in a traditional cooking stove were also measured. EFoPAHs were 348±305 and 396±387 µg/kg in the combustion mode II for pine wood and corn straw pellets, respectively. In mode I, measured EFoPAHs were 77.7±49.4 and 189±118 µg/kg, respectively. EFs in mode II were higher (2-5 times) than those in mode I mainly due to the decreased combustion temperature under more excess air. Compared to EFoPAHs for raw corn straw and pine wood burned in a traditional cooking stove, total EFoPAHs for the pellets in mode I were significantly lower (p < 0.05), likely due to increased combustion efficiencies and change in fuel properties. However, the difference between raw biomass fuels and the pellets burned in mode II was not statistically significant. Taking both the increased thermal efficiencies and decreased EFs into consideration, substantial reduction in oPAH emission can be expected if the biomass pellets can be extensively used by rural residents.

Keywords: Biomass Pellets; Emission Factor; Emission Reduction; Oxygenated PAHs.