The characterisation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons emissions from burning of different firewood species in Australia

Linda Y. Zou, Weidong Zhang, Steven Atkiston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Four kinds of woods used for residential heating in Australia were selected and burned under two burning conditions in a domestic wood heater installed in a laboratory. The selected wood species included pine (Pinus radiata), red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), sugar gum (Eucalyptus cladocalyx) and yellow box (Eucalyptus melliodora). The two different burning conditions represented fast burning and slow burning, with the air inlet of the combustion chamber respectively 'full open' and 'half open'. By sampling and analysing particulate and gaseous emissions from the burning of each load of wood under defined experimental conditions, PAHs emissions and their profiles in the particulate and gaseous phases were obtained. 16 species out of the 18 selected PAHs were detected. Of these, seven species were detected in the gaseous phase and most were lower molecular weight compounds. Similarly, more than 10 species of PAHs were detected in the particulate phase and these were mostly heavier molecular weight compounds. Under both burning conditions, emission levels for total PAHs and total genotoxic PAHs were the highest for pine and lowest for sugar gum, with red gum being the second highest, followed by yellow box. Using the specific sampling method, gaseous PAHs accounted for above 90% mass fraction of total PAHs in comparison to particulate PAHs (10%). The majority of the genotoxic PAHs were present in the particulate phase. PAHs emission levels in slow burning conditions were generally higher than those in fast burning conditions.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)283-289
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume124
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2003

Keywords

  • Burning conditions
  • Gaseous PAHs
  • Genotoxic PAHs
  • Particulate PAHs
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • Wood emissions

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