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Time-Resolved Intermediate-Volatility and Semivolatile Organic Compound Emissions from Household Coal Combustion in Northern China

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journal contribution
posted on 18.07.2019, 21:31 by Siyi Cai, Liang Zhu, Shuxiao Wang, Armin Wisthaler, Qing Li, Jingkun Jiang, Jiming Hao
Coal combustion in low-efficiency household stoves results in the emission of large amounts of nonmethane organic compounds (NMOCs), including intermediate-volatility compounds (IVOCs) and semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs). This conceptual picture is reasonably well established, however, quantitative assessment of I/SVOC emissions from household stoves is rare. We used a proton-transfer-reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer (PTR-ToF-MS) to quantify the emissions of organic gases from a typical Chinese household coal stove operated with anthracite and bituminous coals. Most NMOCs (approximately 64–88%) were dominated by hydrocarbons and emitted during the ignition and flaming phases. The ratio of oxidized hydrocarbons increased during the flaming and smoldering stages due to the elevated combustion efficiency. The average emission factors of NMOCs were 121 ± 25.7 and 3690 ± 930 mg/kg for anthracite and bituminous coals, respectively. I/SVOCs contributed to approximately 30% of the total emitted NMOC mass during bituminous coal combustion, much higher than the contribution of biomass burning (approximately 1.5%). Furthermore, I/SVOCs may contribute over 70% of the secondary organic aerosol (SOA) mass formed from gaseous organic species emitted as a result of bituminous coal combustion. This study highlights the importance of inventorying coal-originated I/SVOCs when conducting SOA formation simulation studies.