Time-resolved analysis of primary volatile emissions and secondary aerosol formation potential from a small-scale boiler
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CitationCzech Hendryk. Pieber Simone. Tiitta Petri. Sippula Olli. Kortelainen M. Lamberg H. Grigonyte J. Streibel T. Prevot A. Jokiniemi J. Zimmermann R. (2017). Time-resolved analysis of primary volatile emissions and secondary aerosol formation potential from a small-scale boiler. ATMOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENT, 158, 236-245. 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2017.03.040.
Small-scale pellet boilers and stoves became popular as a wood combustion appliance for domestic heating in Europe, North America and Asia due to economic and environmental aspects. Therefore, an increasing contribution of pellet boilers to air pollution is expected despite their general high combustion efficiency. As emissions of primary organic aerosol (POA) and permanent gases of pellet boilers are well investigated, the scope of this study was to investigate the volatile organic emissions and the formation potential of secondary aerosols for this type of appliance. Fresh and aged emissions were analysed by a soot-particle aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SP-AMS) and the molecular composition of the volatile precursors with single-photon ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SPI-TOFMS) at different pellet boiler operation conditions. Organic emissions in the gas phase were dominated by unsaturated hydrocarbons while wood-specific VOCs, e.g. phenolic species or substituted furans, were only detected during the starting phase. Furthermore, organic emissions in the gas phase were found to correlate with fuel grade and combustion technology in terms of secondary air supply. Secondary organic aerosols of optimised pellet boiler conditions (OPT, state-of-the-art combustion appliance) and reduced secondary air supply (RSA, used as a proxy for pellet boilers of older type) were studied by simulating atmospheric ageing in a Potential Aerosol Mass (PAM) flow reactor. Different increases in OA mass (55% for OPT, 102% for RSA), associated with higher average carbon oxidation state and O:C, could be observed in a PAM chamber experiment. Finally, it was found that derived SOA yields and emission factors were distinctly lower than reported for log wood stoves.