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Formation of Nitrogen-Containing Organic Aerosol during Combustion of High-Sulfur-Content Coal

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journal contribution
posted on 07.11.2017, 00:00 by Xiaofei Wang, Hanliu Wang, He Jing, Wei-Ning Wang, Weidong Cui, Brent J. Williams, Pratim Biswas
Carbonaceous aerosols, including organic carbon aerosols and black carbon aerosols, are produced by the combustion of pulverized coal even under fuel-lean conditions. These carbonaceous aerosols can be particularly hazardous to human health. In this study, the chemical compositions and formation pathways of organic aerosols emitted during the combustion of high-sulfur-content coals were investigated. It was found that nitrogen-containing organic matter contains a significant proportion of organic aerosol mass from the combustion of high-sulfur-content coals, which is not the case for organic aerosols generated during the combustion of low-sulfur-content coals. The formation of organic aerosols was significantly enhanced when higher-sulfur-content coal was burned. A strong correlation between organic aerosol mass and the sulfate concentration was observed. It is proposed that acidic sulfate particles absorb the nitrogen-containing organic volatiles produced by coal pyrolysis onto the particle phase through acid–base neutralization reactions.