Atmospheric environment

Influence of rice straw burning on the levels of polycyclic aromatichydrocarbons in agricultural county of Taiwan

Chia-Hsiang Lai , Kang-Shin Chen , Hsin-Kai Wang


Received September 11, 2008,Revised February 04, 2009, Accepted , Available online

Volume 21,2009,Pages 1200-1207

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Atmospheric particulate and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) size distribution were measured at Jhu-Shan (a rural site) and Sin-Gang (a town site) in central Taiwan during the rice straw burning and non-burning periods. The concentrations of total PAHs accounting for a roughly 58% (34%) increment in the concentrations of total PAHs due to rice-straw burning. Combustion-related PAHs during burning periods were 1.54–2.57 times higher than those during non-burning periods. The mass median diameter (MMD) of 0.88–1.21 m in the particulate phase suggested that rice-straw burning generated the increase in coarse particle number. Chemical mass balance (CMB) receptor model analyses showed that the primary pollution sources at the two sites were similar. However, ricestraw burning emission was specifically identified as a significant source of PAH during burning periods at the two sites. Open burning of rice straws was estimated to contribute approximately 6.3%–24.6% to total atmospheric PAHs at the two sites.

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